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Samantha Among the 
Colored Folks 

; | By . 


Illustrated by E. W. KEMBLE 

New York 
Dodd, Mead and Company 


7V 3 

COPYRIGHT, 1892, 1894, 


A 11 rights reserved. 



ON THE RACE PROBLEM was the title 

adopted for the editions of this book that were is 
sued exclusively for the subscription market. 

In preparing the new edition for popular sale it 
has been deemed advisable to change its title to 
more m keeping with its character. Otherwise its 
contents remain the same. 

































"His OVERSEER" 153 



ROSY 161 

















BABE 237 

" MY TONE RIZ UP" 239 




URY. 256 















" MISERY" 320 


ABE 326 

















IT was entirely onexpected and onlooked for. 
But I took it as a Decree, and done as 
well as I could, which is jest as well as any 
body ought to be expected to do under any 
circumstances, either on my side or on hisen. 
It was one of the relations on his side that come 
on to us entirely onexpected and on the evenin stage 
that runs from Jonesville to Loontown. He was a 
passin through this part of the country on business, 
so he stopped off at Jonesville to see us. 

He come with his portmanty and a satchel, and 
I mistrusted, after consultin* them signs in the pri 
vacy of my own mind, that he had come to stay for 
quite a spell. 


But I found in the fulness of time that my worst 
apprehensions wuz not realized. 

I found instead of pantaloons and vests and things 
which I suspected wuz in the big satchel, I found 
out they wuz tracts and Bibles. 

Why, I wuz fairly took aback when I discovered 
this fact, and felt guilty to think I had been cast 
down, and spozed things that wuzn t so. 

But whether they are on his side or on your own, 
visitors that come when you are deep in house- 
cleanin , and most all your carpets took up, and 
your beds oncorded, and your buttery shelves dry 
and arid, can t be welcomed with quite the cordiality 
you would show one in more different and prosper 
ous times. 

But we found out after a little conversation that 
Cousin John Richard Allen wuz a colporter, and 
didn t lay out to stay only one night. So, as I say, 
I done the best I could with him, and felt my con 
science justified. 

He had a dretful good look to his face, for all 
mebby he wouldn t be called beautiful. His eyes 
wuz deep and brilliant and clear, with a meanin in 
em that comes from a pure life and a high endeavor 
a generous, lovin* soul. 

Yes, though it wuz one on his side instid of mine, 
justice makes me say he seemed to be a good feller, 
and smart as a whip, too. And he seemed to feel real 
friendly and cousinly towards us, though I had never 
laid eyes on him more than once or twice before. 
Josiah had known him when they wuz boys. 

He had lived in Vermont, and had been educated 
high, been through college, and preachin schools 


of the best kind, and had sot out in life as a minis 
ter, but bein broke up with quinsy, and havin a 
desire to be in some Christian work, he took to col- 
porterin , and had been down in the Southern States 
to work amongst the freedmen for years. 

He went not long after the war closed. I guess 
he hated to give up preachin , for I believe my soul 
that he wanted to do good, and bein so awful smart 
it wuz a cross, I know and once in a while he 
would kind o forget himself, and fall into a sort o* 
preachin , eloquent style of talkin , even when he 
wuz conversin on such subjects as butter, and hens, 
and farmin , and such. But I know he did it entirely 
onbeknown to himself. 

And to the table the blessin he asked wuz as 
likely a one as I ever sec run at anybody s table, 
but it wuz middlin lengthy, as long about as a small- 
sized sermon. 

Josiah squirmed I see he did. he squirmed hard, 
though he is a good Christian man. He wuz afraid the 
cream biscuit would be spilte by the delay ; they are 
his favorites, and though I am fur from bein the one 
that ought to speak of it, my biscuit are called deli 

And though I hate to say it, hate to show any on- 
willingness to be blessed to any length by so good a 
man and so smart a one yet I must say them bis 
cuit wuzn t the biscuit they would have been had 
the blessin been more briefer, and they had been eat 

Howsomever, they wuz pretty good ones after 
all, and Cousin John Richard partook of five right 
along one after the other, and seemed to enjoy the 


fifth one jest as well as he did the earlier editions. 
They wuzn t very large, but light, and tender. 

Wall, after supper, he and ray pardner sot down 
in the settin -room, while I wuz a washin up the 
dishes, and a settin the sponge for my griddle-cakes 
for breakfast. 

And I hearn em a talkin about Uncle Noah, and 
Uncle Darius, and Cousin Melinda, and Sophronia 
Ann, and Aunt Marrier and her children and lots 
more that I had never hearn of, or had forgot if I had. 

They seemed to be a takin solid comfort, though 
I see that Cousin John Richard every time he got a 
chance would kinder preach on em. 

If there wuz a death amongst em that they talked 
over, John Richard would, I see, instinctively and 
onbeknown to himself preach a little funeral sermon 
on em, a first-rate one, too, though flowery, and 
draw quite a lot of morals. Wall, I thought to my 
self, they are a takin sights of comfort together, and 
I am glad on it. I dearly love to see my pardner 

When alt of a sudden, jest as I had got my sponge 
ail wet up, and everything slick, and I wuz a wash- 
in my hands to the sink, I see there wuz a more 
excited, voyalent axent a ringin out in my pardner s 
voice, I see he wuz a gettin het up in some argu 
ment or other, and I hurried and changed my ging 
ham bib apron for a white one, and took my knittin* 
work and hastened into the room, bein* anxious to 
avert horstilities, and work for peace. 

And I see I wuz only jest in time ; for my com 
panion wuz a gettin agitated and excited to a high 
degree, and Cousin John Richard all rousted up. 


And the very first words I hearn after I went in 
wuz these offensive and quarrelsome words that do 
so much to stir up strife and dessensions 

They have madded me time and agin. They 
proceeded out of my companion s mouth, and the 
words wuz : 

" Oh shaw !" 

I see in a minute that John Richard couldn t brook 
em. And I wunk to Josiah Allen to stop, and let 
Cousin John Richard go on and say what he wuz a 
minter, both as a visiter, who wuz goin to remain 
with us but a short period, and also a relation, and 
a ex-minister. 

My wink said all of this, and more. And my 
companion wuz affected by it. But like a child a 
cryin hard after bein spanked, he couldn t stop 
short off all to once. 

So he went on, but in fur mellerer axents, and 
more long-sufferin er ones : 

" Wall, I say there is more talk than there is any 
need of. I don t believe things are to such a pass 
in the South. I don t take much stock in this Race 
Problem anyway. The Government whipped the 
South and freed the niggers. And there it is, all 
finished and done with. And everything seems 
quiet so fur as I can hear on. 

" I hain t heard nuthin about any difficulty to speak 
on, nor I don t believe Uncle Nate Gowdey has, 
or Sime Bently. And if there wuz much of any 
thing wrong goin on, one of us three would have 
been apt to have hearn on it. 

" For we are, some of us, down to the corners about 
every night, and get all the news there is a stirrin . 



" Of course there is some fightin everywhere. 
Uncle Nate hearn of a new fight last night, over to 
Loontown. We get holt of everything. And I 
don t believe there is any trouble down South, and 
if there is, they will get along well enough if they 
are left alone, if there hain t too much said." 


Sez John Richard, " I have lived in the South for 
years, and I know what I am talking about. And 
I say that you Northern people, and in fact all the 
nation, are like folks sitting on the outside of a vol 
cano, laughing and talking in your gay indifference, 
and thinking the whole nation is in safety, when 
the flames and the lava torrents of destruction arq 


liable to burst out at any time and overwhelm this 
land in ruin." 

And then agin, though I hate to set it down 
then agin did my pardner give vent to them dan 
gerous and quarrelsome sentiments before I could 
reach him with a wink or any other precautionary 
measures. That rash man said agin : 

" Oh shaw !" 

And I see, devoted Christian as John Richard 
wuz, the words gaulded him almost more than he 
could endure, and he broke out in almost heated 
axents, and his keen dark eye a flashin , and says 

" I tell you the storm is brewing ! I have watched 
it coming up and spreading over the land, and unless 
it is averted, destruction awaits this people." 

His tone wuz a very preachin one, very, and I 
felt considerable impressed by it ; but Josiah Allen 
spoke up pert as a peacock, and sez he : 

11 Why don t the Southern folks behave themselves, 

And sez John Richard : 

" Do you blame the Southern white folks exclu 
sively ?" 

Yes," sez Josiah, in them same pert axents ; 
" yes, of course I do." 

Then that shows how short-sighted you are, 
how blind !" 

" I can see as well as you can !" sez Josiah, all 
wrought up " I don t have to wear goggles." 

Oh, how mortified, how mortified I felt ! John 
Richard did wear blue goggles when he wuz travel- 
lin . But what a breach of manners to twit a visiter 


of such a thing ! Twit em of goggles, blue ones 
too ! I felt as if I should sink. 

But I didn t know Cousin John Richard Allen. 
He hadn t give up ease and comfort and the joys of 
a fireside, for principle s sake, for nuthin . No per 
sonal allusions could touch him. The goggles fell 
onto him harmlessly, and fell off agin. He didn t 
notice em no more n if they hadn t been throwed. 

And he went on growin more and more sort o 
lifted up and inspired-lookin , and a not mindin 
what or who wuz round him. And sez he : 

" I tell you again the storm is rising ; I hear its 
mutterings in the distance, and it is coming nearer 
and nearer all the time." 

Josiah kinder craned his neck and looked out of 
the winder in a sort of a brisk way. He misunder 
stood him a purpose, and acted as if John Richard 
meant a common thunder-storm. 

But Cousin John Richard never minded him, bein 
took up and intent on what his own mind wuz a 
lookin at onbeknown to us 

I have been amongst this people night and day 
for years ; I have been in the mansions of the rich, 
the ruins of the beautiful homes ruined by the war, 
and in the cabins of the poor. I have been in their 
schools and their churches, and the halls where the 
law is misadministered I have been through the 
Southern land from one end to the other and I 
know what I am talking about. 

" I went there to try to help the freedmen. I 
knew these people so lately enslaved were poor and 
ignorant, and I thought I could help them. 

" But I was almost as ignorant as you are of the 


real state of affairs in the South. But I have been 
there and seen for myself, and I tell you, and I tell 
this nation, that we are on the eve of another war if 
something is not done to avert it." 

My pardner wuz jest a openin his mouth in a de 
risive remark, but I hitched my chair along and trod 
on his foot, and onbeknown to me it wuz the foot on 
which he wuz raisin a large corn, and his derisive 
remark wuz changed to a low groan, and Cousin 
John Richard went on onhendered. 

" I went South with good motives, God knows. 
I knew this newly enfranchised race was sorely in 
want of knowledge, Christian knowledge most of all. 

" I thought, as so many others do, that Christianity 
and education would solve this problem. I never 
stopped to think that the white race, of whose 
cruelty the negroes complained, had enjoyed the 
benefits of Christianity for hundreds of years, and 
those whose minds were enriched by choicest cul 
ture had hearts encased in bitterest prejudices, and 
it was from the efforts of their avarice and selfishness 
that I was trying to rescue the freedmen. We ac 
complished much, but I expected, as so many others 
have, choicer Christian fruits to spring from this 
barren soil, that has grown in the rich garden culti 
vated for centuries. 

" Education has done and will do much Chris 
tianity more ; but neither can sound a soundless deep, 
nor turn black night into day. 

" But I never thought of this. I worked hard 
and meant well, Heaven knows. I thought at first 
I could do marvellous things ; later, when many 
failures had made me more humble, I thought if I 


could help only one soul my labor would not be in 
vain. For who knows/ sez John Richard dreamily, 
44 who knows the tremendous train of influences one 
sets in motion when he is under God enabled to turn 
one life about from the path of destruction towards 
the good and the right? 

" Who knows but he is helping to kindle a light 
that shall yet lighten the pathway of a Toussaint 
L Ouverture or a Fred Douglass on to victory, and 
a world be helped by the means ? 

44 And if only one soul is helped, does not the 
Lord of the harvest say, He that turns one man 
from the error of his ways has saved a soul from 
death ?" 

Cousin John Richard s eye looked now as if he 
wuz a gazin deep into the past the past of eager 
and earnest endeavor, and way beyend it into the 
past that held a happy home, and the light from that 
forsaken fireside seemed to be a shinin up into his 
face, divinely sad, bitter sweet, as he went on : 

44 I loved my wife and children as well as another 
man, but I left them and my happy, happy home to 
go where duty called. 

* 4 My wife could not endure that hot climate, and 
she lay dying when I was so far South that I could 
not get to her till she had got so far down in the 
Valley that she could not hear my voice when I 
spoke to her." 

Ah ! the waves of memory wuz a dashin hard 
aginst ^Cousin John Richard then, as we could see. 
It splashed some of the spray up into his bright 

But he kept on : 44 I was rich enough then to put 


my children to school, which I did, and then re 
turned to my labors. 

" I loved my work I felt for it that enthusiasm and 
devotion that nerves the heart to endure any trials 
and I don t speak of the persecutions I under 
went in that work as being- harder than what many 
others endured. 

You know what they passed through who 
preached the higher truth in Jerusalem. The Book 
says, They were persecuted, afflicted, tormented, 
had cruel buffetings and scourgings, were burned, 
were tortured, not accepting deliverance. 

" In the early days after the war, in some parts ol 
the South there were hardly any indignities that 
could be inflicted upon us that we were not called 
upon to endure. We had our poor houses burned 
down over our heads, our Bible and spelling-books 
thrown into the flames ; we have had rifles pointed 
at our breasts, and were ordered to leave on perii 
of death. 

" And many, many more than you Northerners 
have any idea of met their death in the dark cypress 
forests and in the dreary, sandy by-ways of the 
Southern States. 

" They died, not accepting deliverance by cow 
ardly flight. How many of them thus laid down 
their lives for conscience sake will never be known 
till that hour when He comes to make up His jewels. 

" I bear the marks upon me to-day, and shall carry 
them to my grave, of the tortures inflicted upon me 
to make me give up my work of trying to help the 
weak and seek and save them that were lost." 

" The dumb fools !" hollered out Josiah. " What 


did they act so like idiots for and villains ? The 
Southerners always did act like the Old Harry any 

My dear companion is fervid and impassioned in 
his feelin s and easily wrought on, and he felt what 


he said. John Richard wuz a relation on his own 
side, and he could not calmly brook the idee of his 
sufferin s. 

But Cousin John didn t look mad, nor excited, 
nor anything. He had a sort of a patient look onto 
his face, and as if he had tried to reason things out 
for some time. 

" Such a state of affairs was inevitable," sez he. 


" Then you don t blame the cussed fools, do 
you?" yelled out Josiah, fearfully wrought up and 

Oh, what a word to use, and to a minister too - 
" cussed" ! I felt as if I should sink right down into 
the suller I wuz about over the potato ben and I 
didn t much care if I did sink, I felt so worked 

But Cousin John Richard didn t seem to mind it 
at all. He had got up into a higher region than my 
soul wuz a sailin round in he had got up so high 
that little buzzin , stingin insects that worried me 
didn t touch him ; he had got up into a calm, pure 
atmosphire where they couldn t fly round. 

He went on calm as a full moon on a clear night, 
and sez he : 

" It is difficult to put the blame for this state of 
affairs on any one class, the evil is so far spread. 
The evil root was planted centuries ago, and we are 
partaking of its poison fruit to-day. 

" In looking on such a gigantic wrong we must 
look on it on other sides than the one whose jagged 
edges have struck and bruised us we must look on 
it on every side in order to be just. 

" After years and years of haughty supremacy, am 
bition and pride growing rankly, as they must in 
such a soil, fostered, it would seem, by Northern indo 
lence and indifference, the South was conquered by 
armed force brought down to the humiliation of 
defeat by a successful, if generous foe. 

"And then, what was far harder for them to endure, 
a race of people that they had looked upon much as 
you look upon your herd of cattle was suddenly 


raised from a condition of servitude to one of legal 
equality, and in many cases of supremacy. 

" It was hard for this hot-blooded, misguided, 
warm-hearted Southern people to lose at once all 
their brilliant dreams of an independent, aristocratic 
Confederacy it was hard for them to lose home, 
and country, and wealth, and ambition at one blow. 

" It was hard for their proud, ambitious leader to 
have his beautiful old country home, full of aristo 
cratic associations and sweet memories, turned into 
the national graveyard. 

" And this one tragedy that changed this sweet 
home into a mausoleum is not a bad illustration of 
what the Southern people endured. 

" No matter what brought this thing about no 
matter where the blame rested it was hard for them 
to stand by the graves of their loved ones, who fell 
fighting for the lost cause to stand amongst the 
ruins of their dismantled homes, and know that their 
proud, ambitious dreams were all ended. 

" But this they could endure it was the fortune of 
war, and they had to submit. But to this other in 
dignity, as they called it, they would not submit. 

Through centuries of hereditary influences and 
teachings this belief was ingrained, born in them, 
bone of their bone, flesh of their flesh, soul of their 
soul, implanted first by nature, then hardened and 
made invulnerable by centuries of habits, beliefs, 
and influences this instinctive, hereditary contempt 
and aversion for the black race only as servants. 

" And they would not endure to have them made 
their equals. 

" Now, no preaching, be it with the tongue of men 



or angels, could vanquish this ingrained, inexorable 
foe, this silent, overmastering force that rose up on 
every side to set at naught our preaching. 


" After twenty-five years of Christian effort it re 
mains the same, and at the end of a century of Gos 
pel work it will still be there just the same. 

" And those who do not take into consideration 


this overwhelming power of antagonism between 
the races when they are considering the Southern 
question are fools. 

The whites will not look upon the negroes as 
their equals, and you cannot make them " 

"Wall, they be!" hollered out Josiah. "The 
Proclamation made em free and equal, jest as we 
wuz made in the War of 1812." 

" But oh, what a difference !" sez Cousin John 
Richard sadly. 

" The American colonies were the peers of the 
mother country. It was only a quarrel between 
children and mother. The same blood ran in their 
veins, they had the same traits, the same minds, the 
same looks, they were truly equal. 

" But in this case it was an entirely different race, 
necessarily inferior by their long years of degrada 
tion, brought up at one bound from the depths of 
ignorance and servitude to take at once the full 
rights awarded to intellect and character. 

41 It was a great blunder ; it was a sad thing for 
the white race and for the black race F 

Josiah wuz jest a openin his mouth to speak in 
reply to Cousin John Richard s last words, when all 
of a sudden we heard a knock at the door, and I 
went and opened it, and there stood Miss Eben Gar* 
lock, and I asked her to come in, and sot her a chair. 

I never over and above liked Miss Eben Garlock, 
though she is a likely woman enough so fur as I 

But she is one of the kind of wimmen who orni- 
ment the outside of their heads more than the inside, 
and so on with their hearts and souls, etc. 


She is a great case for artificial flowers, and rib- 
bin loops, and fringes. And the flowers that wuz 
a blowin out on her bunnet that day would have 
gone a good ways towards fillin a half-bushel basket. 
And the loops that wuz a hangin all round her bod- 
dist waist would have straightened out into half a 
mile of ribbin, I do believe. 

The ribbin wuz kinder rusty, and she had pinned 
on a bunch of faded red poppies on to the left side 
of her boddist waist, pretty nigh, I should judge, 
over her heart. 

Which goes to prove what I said about her trim- 
min off the outside of her heart and soul. 

Her clothes are always of pretty cheap material, 
but showy, and made after sort o foamin patterns, 
with streamers, and her favorite loops and such. 
And they always have a look as if they wuz in dan 
ger of fallin off of her. She uses pins a good deal, 
and they drop out considerable and leave gaps. 

Wall, I always use her well ; so, as I say, I sot her 
A chair and introduced her to Cousin John Richard, 
and he bowed polite to her, and then leaned back in 
his chair and seemed restin . Good land ! I should 
thought he d wanted to. 

Miss Garlock seemed real agitated and excited, 
and I remembered hearin that forenoon that they 
had lost a relation considerable distant to em. He 
lived some fifteen or sixteen miles away. 

He and Eben Garlock s folks had never agreed ; 
in fact, they had hated each other the worst kind. 
But now Miss Garlock, bein made as she wuz, wuz 
all nerved up to make a good appearance to the 
funeral and show off. 


She had come to borry my mournin suit that I 
had used to mourn for Josiah s mother in ; and I 
am that careful of my clothes that they wuz as good 
as new, though I had mourned in em for a year. 
Mournin for some folks hain t half so hard on 
clothes as mournin for others ; tears spots black 
crape awful, and sithes are dretful hard on whale 
bones ; my clothes wuz good, good as new. 

But I am a eppisodin , and to resoom. 

Miss Garlock wanted to borry my hull suit down 
to shoes and stockin s for Eben s mother, who lived 
with her. She herself wuz a goin to borry Miss 
Slimpsey s dress she that wuz Betsey Bobbets it 
wuz trimmed more and more foamin lookin . r*ut 
she wanted my black fan for herself, and my mourn- 
in handkerchief pin, it bein a very showy one. Ury 
had gin it to me, and I never had mourned in it 
but once, and then not over two hours, at a church 
social, for I felt it wuz too dressy for me. But 
Miss Garlock had seen it on that occasion and ad 
mired it. 

And then, after I had told her she could have all 
these things in welcome, she kinder took me out to 
one side and asked me "if I had jest as lives lend 
her a Bible for a few days. She thought like as not 
the minister would call to talk with Eben s mother, 
and she felt that she should be mortified if he should 
call for a Bible, for they had all run out of Bibles/ 
she said. 

" The last one they had by em had jest been chawed 
up by a pup Eben wuz a raisin ; she had ketched 
him a worryin it out under the back stoop. She 
said he had chawed it all up but a part o the Old 


Testament, and he wuz a worryin and gnawin* 
Maleky when she got it away from him." 

Wall, I told her she could have the Bible, and she 
asked me to have the things done up by the time 
they got back from Miss Slimpsey s, and I told her 
I would, and I did. 

Wall, if you d believe it, I had hardly got them 
things done up in a bundle and laid em on the table 
ready for Miss Garlock, when that blessed man, 
John Richard, commenced agin right where he left 
off, and sez he, a repeatin his last words as calmly 
as if there had been no Garlock eppisode 

" It was a great blunder, a sad thing for the white 
race and the black race." 

" Wall, what would you have done ?" sez Josiah. 

" I don t know," sez Cousin John sadly " I don t 
know ; perhaps mistakes were inevitable. The 
question was so great and momentous, and the dan 
ger and the difficulties seemed so impenetrable on 
every side." 

" Lincoln did the best he could," sez Josiah 
sturdily ; " and I know it." 

" And so do I know it," sez Cousin John. 
That wise, great heart could not make any other 
mistake only a mistake of judgment, and he was sorely 
tried to know what was best to do. The burden 
weighed down upon him so, I fancy he was glad to 
lay it down in any way. 

The times were so dark that any measure adopt 
ed for safety was only groping towards the light, 
only catching at the first rope of safety that seemed 
to lower itself through the heavy clouds of war. 
The heavy eyes and true hearts watching 


through those black hours will never be forgotten 
by this republic. 

" And now, in looking back and criticising the 
errors of that time, it is like the talk of those who are 
watching a storm at sea, when, in order to save the 
ship, wrong ropes may be seized, and life-boats cast 
out into the stormy waves may be swept down and 
lost. But if the ship is saved, let the survivors of 
the crew forever bless and praise the brave hands 
and hearts that dared the storm and the peril. 

"But when the sky is clearer you can see more 
plainly than when the tempest is whirling about 
you and death and ruin are riding on the gale. 
You can see plainer and you can see farther. 

" Now, it was a great and charitable idea, looking 
at it from one side, to let those who had tried their 
best to ruin the Union at once take an equal place 
with those who had perilled life and property to save 
it to give them at once the same rights in making 
the laws they had set at defiance. 

" It was a generous and charitable idea, looking 
on it from one side, but from another side it looked 
risky, very risky, and it looked dangerous to the 
urther peace and perpetuity of that Union. 

" A little delay might not have done any harm a 
little delay in giving them the full rights of citizen 

" And it might, Heaven knows, have been as well 
if the slaves had had a gradual bringing up of mind 
and character to meet the needs of legal responsi 
bility, if they had not been at once invested with all 
the rights and responsibilities which well-trained 
Christian scholars find it so difficult to assume, if 


they had not been required to solve by the ballot 
deep questions of statesmanship, the names of which 
they could not spell out in the newspaper. 

" Could such ignorance make them otherwise than 
a dangerous element in politics, dangerous to them 
selves and dangerous to the welfare of the Union ? 

" Tossed back and forth as they were between 
two conflicting parties, in their helplessness and 
ignorance becoming the prey of the strongest fac 
tion, compelled, at the point of the sword and the 
muzzle of the revolver, to vote as the white man 
made them the law of Might victorious over the 
Right it was a terrible thing for the victim, and a 
still worse one for the victor. 

" What could happen in such a state of affairs only 
trouble and misery, evasions and perversions of the 
law, uprisings of the oppressed, secret bands of 
armed men intent on deeds of violence, whose only 
motives were to set at naught the law, to fight 
secretly against the power they had been openly 
forced to yield to. 

What could happen save warfare, bloodshed, 
burning discontent, and secret nursing of wrongs 
amongst the blacks ; hatred towards the Union 
amongst the whites, towards the successful foe who 
had humiliated them so beyond endurance by this last 
blow of forcing them into a position of equality 
towards their former slaves, and rousing up in them 
a more bitter animosity tow r ards the poor blacks who 
had been the innocent cause of their humiliation." 
Wall, what could have been done ?" sez Josiah. 

14 It is hard to tell," sez John Richard. "It is a 
hard problem to solve ; and perhaps," sez Cousin 


John, lookin some distance off " perhaps it was 
God s own way of dealing with this people. 

You know, after the children of Israel had 
broken the chains of their bondage and passed 
through the Red Sea, they were encamped in the 
wilderness for forty years before they reached the 
Land of Promise. 

" Maybe it is God s way of dealing with this 
people, to make them willing to press forward 
through the wilderness of their almost unendurable 
trials and go forward into their own country, from 
whence their fathers were stolen by these pale faces, 
and there, in that free, fresh land to found a new re 
public of their own. 

" And with all the education and civilization they 
have gathered during these long, miserable years of 
slavery, helped by all they have learned, taught by 
their losses as well as their gains, found a new re 
public that shall yet take its place as one of the great 
nations of the world yes, perhaps lead the nations, 
and reveal God s glory in higher, grander forms 
than colder-blooded races have ever dreamed of. 
For it has seemed as if this people have been pecul 
iarly under His protection and care. 

" All through this long, bloody War of the Rebel 
lion, when it would seem as if the black race must 
be crushed between either the upper or lower mill 
stone of raging sectional warfare, they simply, as if 
bidden by a higher power than was seen marching 
with the armies, stood still and saw the salvation 
of the Lord. " 

Where would you have em set up for them 
selves ?" sez Josiah, a lookin some sleepy, but hold- 


in , as it were, his eyes open with a effort. Would 
you have em go to Mexico, or Brazil, or where?" 

" To Africa," sez Cousin John Richard, " or that 
is what is in my own mind. I don t know that it 
would be better than another place, but I think so." 

" But, good land !" sez Josiah, lookin more wake 
ful, "think of the cost. Why, it would run the 
Government in debt to that extent that it never 
would get over it." He looked skairt at the idee. 
But Cousin John didn t ; he wuz calm and serene as 
he went on : 

" Thousands and thousands would be able and 
willing to go on their own account. But if this na 
tion took them all back at its own expense, is it not 
a lawful debt ? Who brought them here in the first 
place ? They did not come of their own accord ; no, 
they were stolen, hunted like beasts of prey amongst 
their own fields and forests, felled like wild animals, 
and dragged, bleeding from their wounds, into slave 
ships to be packed into a living cargo of sweltering 
agony, and brought off from friends and home and 
native land for our selfishness sake, to add to our 

" It seems to me we owe them a debt that we 
should pay for our own conscience* sake as a na 

" But the Government couldn t afford it ; it would 
cost too much." Josiah is very close. 

"As I said," sez Cousin John Richard, "thou 
sands of the more intelligent ones who have prop 
erty of their own would go at their own expense for 
the sake of founding free, peaceful homes, where 
their children could have the advantages of inde- 



pendence, freed from the baleful effects of class an 
tagonism and race prejudices. 

" Many of the old and feeble ones, and those who 
were prosperous and well off, would not go at all. 
And of those who remained, if the Government 
should transport them and support them there for a 
year it would not cost a twentieth part so much as 
to carry on a civil war. 

" And I tell you war will come, Josiah Allen, if 
something is not done to avert the storm." 

And agin John Richard s eyes took on that fur-off 
look, as if he wuz lookin at things dretful some dis 
tance off. 

" Amongst the lower classes you can hear muttered 
curses and half-veiled threats, and you feel their 
passion and their burning hatred towards the race 
that gave them the Indian gift of freedom gave it, 
and then snatched it out of their hands, and instead 
of liberty gave them injustice and worse oppression. 

" And the storm is coming up. Evil spirits are in 
the atmosphere. Over the better feelings of the 
white race, dominating them, are the black shapes 
of contempt and repulsion towards the race once their 
servants, made their equals by a wordy fiction of 
their enemies, but still under their feet. 

" And in their haughty breasts, as of old, only 
stronger, is the determination to have their own 
way, to rule this ignorant rabble, to circumvent 
the cowardly will of their Northern foe, who had 
brought this thing to pass, to still rule them in one 
way if not in another rule or ruin. 

" And the storm is coming up the heavens. The 
lightning is being stored, and the tempest of hail, 


the burning lightning, and deafening thunder peals 
are awaiting this day of wrath when the storm shall 

" And you sit on in your ease and will not be 
lieve it." 

His eyes wuz bent on my pardner s form, who 
wuz leanin back in a almost luxurious attitude in his 
soft copper-plate-covered rockin chair, but I see he 
didn t mean him in particeler ; no, his eyes had in 
em a wide, deep look that took in the hull country, 
North and South, and he went on in almost eloquent 
axents : 

1 The Northern soldier who twenty-five years ago 
hung up his old rifle and powder-horn with a sigh of 
content that the war against oppression and slavery 
had been won still sits under them in content and 
self-admiration of his prowess, and heeds not at all 
the signs in the heavens. 

" And the wise men in the National Capital sit 
peacefully in their high places and read over com 
placently the words they wrote down a quarter of a 
century ago : 

All slaves are free, 

" And the bandage that Justice wears, having 
slipped too far down over their wise eyes, they have 
not seen the handcuffs and chains that have weighed 
down the still enslaved. 

" And they read these words : 

We proclaim peace in all your borders. 

" And lost in triumphant thoughts of what they 
had done, they did not heed this truth, that instead 
of peace hovering down upon the borders of the fair 
Southern land, they had blindly and ignorantly, no 


doubt, let loose the bitter, corroding, wearing curse 
of animosity and ignorant misrule. 

Yes, those wise men had launched these turbu 
lent spirits instead of peace on the heads of the free 
and enlightened, if bigoted white people of the 
South, and upon the black race. 

" And never stopped to think, so it would seem, 
whether three millions strong of an ignorant, su 
perstitious, long-degraded people, the majority of 
whom could not read nor write, and were ignorant 
of the first principles of truth and justice, could sud 
denly be lifted up to become the peers, and in many 
cases the superiors, of a cultured and refined people 
who had had long ages of culture and education be 
hind them, and, above all, class prejudices. 

They never paused to ask themselves whether it 
was in reality just to the white race, or whether 
this superior class would quietly submit to the legal 
equality and rule of the inferior. 

* The difficulty of this problem did not seem to 
strike them, whether by any miracle the white race 
would at once forget its pride and its prejudices. 

Whether by a legal enactment a peacock could 
be made to change its plumage for the sober habit 
of a dove, or an eagle develop the humility of a snail. 

The wise men expected to do more than this, and 

" And they never seemed to ponder this side of 
the question : Whether it was not cruelty to the 
weaker class to thus raise up to a greater strength 
the prejudice and animosity of the dominant race. 

" And whether this premature responsibility they 
had caused them to assume was not as cruel as to 



put knives and rifles into the hands of babies, and 
send them out to fight a battle with giants fight or 

" And so these wise men, having done their best, 


it would seem, to rouse the blind passions and in- 
ttnsify the ignorant prejudice and class hatred of 
the blacks, sit at their ease. 

" And so the farce has been played out before a 


pitying heaven, and has been for a quarter of a cen 
tury, growing more pitiful to look at year by year. 

" The farce of slave and tyrant masquerading in 
the robes of liberty and equality, and the poor 
Northern zealot playing well his part with a fool s 
cap and bells. The weak crushed and trodden under 
foot, the strong shot down by secret violence mur 
der, rapine, and misrule taking the part of law, and 
both races swept along to their ruin like a vision of 
the night." 

Why, John Richard s talk wuz such, he looked on 
things so different from what I ever had, he put such 
new and strange idees into my head that I can truly 
say that he skairt me most to death. I sot demute ; 
I didn t even think to look to see how my pardner 
wuz affected by the startlin views he wuz promul- 
gatin . I dropped stitches, I seamed where I hadn t 
ought to seam ; I wuz extremely nerved up and agi 
tated, and he went on a talkin more stranger and 
startlinger than ever, if possible. 

" And still these wise men sit and hardly lift their 
wise eyes. But when the storm bursts" sez Cousin 
John Richard, in a louder voice than he had used, 
and more threatenin like and prophetic" when the 
storm bursts, methinks these wise men will look up, 
will get up if there is enough left of them to stand 
after the shock and the violence of the tempest has 
torn and dashed over them. For the clouds will fill 
with vengeance, the storm will burst if something* is 
not done soon to avert the fury of its course. 

" Now, this nation can solve this great question 
peacefully if it will." 

And I sez in agitated axents : 



I wuz fearful wrought up. I never had mistrust 
ed there wuz such a state of things anywhere ; it 
come all onbeknown onto me, and sort o* paralyzed 
my faculties. I had forgot by this time, if you ll 
believe it, whether I wuz a knittin or a tattin . 
Why, I shouldn t have been surprised if somebody 
had spoke up and said I wuz a shearin a sheep or 
pickin a goose. I shouldn t have sensed it, as I 
know of, I wuz so dumbfoundered and lost and by 
the side of myself. 

Sez I, "How?" 

And sez he, " Let the colored race go into a home 
and a country of their own. Let them leave the 
people and the influences that paralyze and hinder 
their best efforts. Let them leave a race that they 
burden and hamper and oppress, for injustice reacts 
worse upon the victor than upon the victim. The 
two races cannot live together harmoniously ; they 
have tried the experiment for hundreds of years, and 

I murmured almost mechanically : 

" Won t religion and education make em har- 
moniouser ?" 

But before John Richard could answer my ques 
tion, Eben Garlock come in for the mourriin bundle, 
and I gin it to him. 

He said he couldn t set down, but still he didn t 
seem ready to go 

Everybody has such visitors that don t want to 
go and don t want to stay, and you have to use 
head work to get em started either way. 

Eben is different from his wife ; he is more sincere 


and open-hearted, and hain t so affected. He speaks 
out more than she duz, and finally he told us what 
wuz on his mind. 

I see he had on a good new black overcoat, and 
the case wuz he wanted to swop with Josiah for the 
day of the funeral, and take his old London brown 

And I sez, " For the land s sake ! Why ? 
Wall," sez he, a lookin real candid and sincere 
as he said it, " the fact is, you know the corpse and 
I never agreed with each other, and everybody 
knows it ; and I don t want to act as if I wuz a 
mournin too much. I hate deceit," sez he. 

Wall," sez I, "if that is how you feel you can 
take the coat in welcome." 

And Josiah sez, " Yes, of course you can have it." 

And Eben took off his glossy new black overcoat 
and put on Josiah s old shabby brown one and sot 
off. And I don t know how he and his wife settled 
it, and I don t much care. 

Wall, if you ll believe it, Eben hadn t much more n 
got into his buggy at the gate when Cousin John 
Richard began agin, took up his remarks jest where 
he had laid em down. I don t spoze he sensed Eben s 
comin in hardly any. 

I spoze it wuz some as if a fly should light on the 
nose of a Fourth of July oritor, it would be brushed 
off without noticin it, and the oration would go 
right on. 

Sez John Richard, " All the religion and educa 
tion in the world cannot make the two races unite 
harmoniously and become one people, with kindred 
tastes and united hearts and interests." 


Sez I agin, speakin mechanically, " You think the 
foot is too big for the shoe ?" 

Yes, exactly," sez he. The shoe is a good 
sound one, but the foot is too big ; it won t go 
into it." 

But, " sez I, as Josiah remarked to you, wouldn t 
it cost awfully ?" 

" Will it cost any less ten years from now ? The 
colored population of the South increases at the rate 
of five hundred every twenty-four hours. 

" By the most careful estimates it has been found 
that in less than twenty years the black race will out 
number the whites to the number of a million. 
What will be done then ? Will the white man leave 
this country to make room for the negro ? It is plain 
that there will not be room lor both." 

And I murmured almost entirely onbeknown to 
myself, " No, 1 don t spoze he would." 

" No, indeed," sez Cousin John Richard. "The 
Anglo-Saxon will not leave this country, his in 
heritance, for the sake of peace or to make room 
for another race ; then what will be done ? I hear 
the voice of the Lord," sez John Richard solemnly, 
I hear His voice saying, Let my people go. 
The silence seemed solemn ; it seemed some like the 
pauses that come in a protracted meetin between 
two powerful speakers. I felt queer. 

But I did speak up almost entirely onbeknown to 
myself, and sez I, " Could they take care of 
themselves in a colony of their own ? Do they 
know enough ?" 

Sez John Richard, "A race that has accumulated 
property to the extent of six millions of dollars in 


one Southern State since the war, under all the 
well-nigh unendurable drawbacks and persecutions 
that have beset it, will be able, I believe, to at least 
Jo as much, when these hampering and oppressive 
influences are withdrawn and the colored man has a 
clear field, in an atmosphere of strength and courage 
and encouragement where in this air of liberty he 
can enioy the rewards of his labor and behold the 
upbuilding of his race. 

" And what a band of missionaries and teachers 
will go out from this new republic, upon every side 
of them, in darkest Africa, to preach the peaceful 
doctrine of the cross ! 

" In these same dark forests, where their ances 
tors were hewn down and shot down like so many 
wild beasts, and dragged, maimed and bleeding, to 
become burden bearers and chained slaves to an 
alien race 

" Under the same dim shadows of these lofty 
trees will these men stand and reveal to the igno- 
lant tribes the knowledge they learned in the tortur 
ing school of slavery. 

The dark baptism wherewith they were baptized 
will set them apart and fit them for thir great work. 
They will speak with the fellowship of suffering 
which touches hearts and enkindles holy flames. 

" Their teachings will have the supreme consecra 
tion of agony and martyrdom. They will speak 
with the pathos of grief, the earnestness and knowl 
edge born through suffering and the constant 
anguish of patience/ 

" It is such agenclcj as these that God has always 
blessed to the upbuilding of His kingdom. And 


will not the dwarfed natures about them gradually 
be transformed by the teachings of these apostles 
into a civilized, God-fearing people ? 

" Methinks the dark faces of these apostles will 
shine with the glowing image of God s love and 
providence the providence that watched over 


them and kept them in a strange land, and then 
brought them back in safety, fitted to tell the story 
of God s love and power, and His mercy that had 
redeemed them and made them free. 

" And when the lowest and most unknowing one 
shall ask, Who are these ? methinks the answer 


will be as it was to St. John : These are they who 
come out of great tribulations. 

I wuz demute, and didn t say nuthin , and John 
Richard sez, in a deep axent and a earnest one, 
" But will this Government be warned by past 
judgments and past experience and be wise in time ? 

" I don t know," sez he, a answerin himself ; for 
truly I didn t know what to say nor how to say it. 

You spoke just now of the expense. It will cost 
less now to avert an evil than it will cost for its over 
throw, when time, and national follies, and men s 
bad passions, and inevitable causes have matured it, 
and the red cloud has burst in its livid fury over a 
doomed land. But time will tell. 

" But while delays go on, the mills of the gods 
are grinding on ; time nor tide cannot stop them. 
And if this nation sits down at its ease for a decade 
longer, woe to this republic !" 

I wuz so thrilled, and skairt, and enthused by 
Cousin John Richard s eloquence and strange and 
fiery words and flowery language that when I sort 
o come to myself I looked up, a expectin to see 
Josiah bathed in tears, for he weeps easy. 

But even as I looked, I heard a low, peaceful 
snore. And I see that Josiah Allen had so fur for 
got good manners and what wuz due to high princi 
ples and horspitality as to set there fast asleep. 
Yes, sleepin as sweet as a babe in its mother s arms. 

I looked mortified, I know. 

But Cousin John Richard took it all historically 
nuthin personal could touch him, so it seemed. 

And sez he to me. " There is a fair instance of 
what I have told you, cousin a plain illustration 


of the indifference and unbelief of the North as to 
the state of affairs in the Southern States." 

Wall," sez I, " Josiah has been broke of his rest 
some durin the year with newraligy, and you must 
overlook it in him." 

And, wantin to change the subject, I asked him 
if he wouldn t like a glass of new milk before retirin 
and goin to bed. 

And he said he would ; and I brung it in to him 
with a little plate of crackers on a tray. And as I 
come by Josiah Allen I made calculation ahead to 
hit him axidentally on his bald head with rny el 

And he started up, with his face nearly covered 
with smiles and mortification, and sez he : 

That last remark of yours, Cousin John Rich 
ard, wuz very convincin and eloquent." 

The remark wuz, " I like new milk very much." 

But I wouldn t throw that milk into his face. 
And Cousin John received the milk and the remark 
with composure. 

And I kep them two men down on to relations, 
and sheep, and such like subjects till I got em off to 

I give John Richard a good dose of spignut syrup, 
for he complained of a sore throat, and he wuz 
hoarse as a frog. Good land ! I should have 
thought he would be, talkin as much as he had, 
and eloquent too. 

Eloquence is dretful tuckerin ; I know well its 
effects on the system, though mebby I hadn t ort 
to be the one to say it. 

Wall, in the mornin Cousin John Richard wuz 


weak as a cat. All tired out. He couldn t hardly 
get round. And I made him lay down on the lounge 
in the settin room, and I give him spignut syrup 
once a hour most all day, and kep him warm, and 
lumps of maple sugar for his cough. 

And by night he seemed like a new man that 
spignut syrup is wonderful ; few people know the 
properties of it. 

Wall, Josiah and I both took such a likin to that 
good onselfish eloquent creeter that we prevailed on 
him to stay a week with us right along. 

And we took him to see the children, and Josiah 
took him up to Uncle Thomas es, and Cousin So- 
phronia s on his own side, and we done well by him. 

And I fixed up his clothes with Philury s help 
they wuz good ones, but they needed a woman. 
But we mended em and rubbed em up with am 
monia where it wuz needed, and they wuz in good 
condition when he went back to his work. 

Good land ! wild oxen, nor camels, nor nuthin 
couldn t have kep him from that " field" of hisen. 

But when it come the mornin for him to leave, he 
hated to go hated to like a dog. 

And we hated to have him go, we liked him the 
best that ever wuz. And we tried to make him 
promise to come to see us agin. But he seemed to 
feel dubersome about it ; he said he would have to 
go where his work called him. 

His bizness now up North wuz to see about some 
money that had been subscribed for a freedmen s 
school and meetin house. But he promised to write 
to us now and then, and he spoke with deep feelin 
about the " sweet rest he had had there," and 


how he never should forget it ; he talked real elo* 
quent about it, and flowery, but he meant every 
word, we could see he did. 

It happened curius about the chapter Josiah read 
that mornin he most always reads the first one he 
opens to. And it wuz the one where Paul tells 
about his hard work and trials, and how the Lord 
had brought him out of em all. 

How he wuz beaten with rods, and stuned, and 
wuz in perils of waters, and perils by his own coun 
trymen, and perils by the heathen, and in the wilder 
ness, and amongst false brethren, in weariness, and 
painfulness, and hunger and thirst, and cold and 

And how he gloried in his weakness and infirmi 
ties, if so God s strength should be made perfect 
and His will be accomplished. 

I declare for it, I couldn t help thinkin of Cousin 
John Richard, though mebby it hain t right to com 
pare one of our relations to Paul, and then agin I 
didn t spoze Paul would care. I knew they both 
on em wuz good, faithful, earnest creeters any 

Then Cousin John Richard prayed a prayer that 
almost caught us up to the gates of Paradise, it wuz 
so full of heavenly love, and tenderness, and affec 
tion for us, and devotion to his work, and every 
thing good, and half saintly. 

And then most imegiatly he went away on the 
mornin stage. 

And at the very last, when most every other man 
would be a thinkin of umberells or shawl straps, he 
took our hands in hisen and sez : 


" Stand fast in the faith ! be strong !" And then 
he bid us " good-bye, and God bless us !" and wuz 

Good, faithful, hard-workin creeter. The views 
he had promulgated to us wuz new and startlin , and 
Josiah and he couldn t agree on em ; but where is 
there two folks who think alike on every subject? 

But whether they wuz true or false, I knew that 
John Richard believed every word he had said 
about the state of affairs in the South. 



OSIAH had to go to Shackville with a 
hemlock saw log that day, so he went off 
most imegiatly after Cousin John Rich- 
f. i i ard departed. 
\C* JJ And I resoomed the occupation I had 
laid down for the last week, and did a 
big day s work, with Philury s help, a cleanin 

But I had a good warm supper when my compan 
ion returned. I always will, work or no work, 
have meals on time, and good ones too though I 
oughtn t to boast over such doin s. 

We had cleaned the kitchen that day, papered it 
all over new and bright, and put down three 
breadths of a new rag carpet, acrost the west end. 

And I had put up some prettv new curtains of 
cream-colored and red cheese cloth, one breadth of 


each to a winder, and looped em back with some 
red lute-string ribbon. 

And I had hung my canary-cage in between the 
two south winders, over the stand of house plants ; 
and the plants had done dretful well, they wuz in 
full blow. 

And then I brung in the two big easy-chairs cov 
ered with handsome new copper plate one for 
Josiah and one for me. 

And when I had set the supper-table, covered 
with a snowy cloth, in front of the south winders, 
the place looked well. We had took the carpet up 
in the dinin room and had to set the table there. 
But it looked well enough for anybody. 

And havin had Philury to do the heaviest of the 
work, I didn t feel so very beat out, and I changed 
my dress and sot quiet and peaceful and very calm 
in my frame a waitin for my companion, while the 
grateful odor of broiled chicken, and cream biscuit, 
and the rich coffee riz up and permeated the room. 

Josiah duz love a cup of hot, fragrant coffee with 
cream into it when he has been to v; ork in the cold 
all day. And it wuz quite cold for the time of year. 

Wall, I had put on a good new gingham dress and 
a white apron, and I had a lace ruffle round my 
neck ; and though I hain t vain, nor never wuz 
called so, only by the envious, still I knew I looked 

And I could read this truth in my companion s 
eyes as he come home cold and cross and hungry- 
come into that warm, pleasant room and into the 
presence of his devoted pardner. 

At once and imegiatly his cares, his crossness. 


and his troubled mean dropped from him like a gar 
ment he wuz tired of, and he felt well. 

And his appetite was good excellent. 

And it wuzn t till after the dishes wuz all washed 
up, and we wuz a settin on each side of the stand, 
which had a bright cloth and a clean lamp on it, I 
with my knittin work and he with his World, that he 
resoomed and took up the conversation about Cousin 
John Richard s beliefs. 

And I see, jest what I had seen, that as well as he 
liked John Richard, that worthy creeter had not 
convinced him ; and he even felt inclined, now the 
magnetism of his presence wuz withdrawn, to pow 
at his earnest beliefs and sentiments. 

I waved off Josiah s talk ; I tried to evade his elo 
quence (or what he called eloquence). For some 
how John Richard s talk had made more impression 
onto me than it had onto Josiah, and I could not 
bear to hear the cherished beliefs of that good man 
set all to naut. 

So I tried to turn off Josiah s attention by allusions 
to the tariff, the calves, the national debt, to Ury s 
new suit of clothes, to the washboard, to Tirzah 
Ann s married life, and to the excellencies and beau 
ties of our two little granddaughters Babe and Snow 
Tirzah Ann s and Thomas Jefferson s little girls. 

But though this last subject wuz like a shinin bait, 
and he ketched on it and hung there for some time, 
a descantin on the rare excellencies of them two 
wonderful children, yet anon, or nearly so, he wrig 
gled away from that glitterin bait and swung back 
to the subject that he had heard descanted on so 
powerfully the night John Richard come. 


And in spite of all my nearly frenzied but peaceful 
efforts for when he wuz so tired and beat out I 
wouldn t use voyalence he would resoom the sub 

And sez he for the third or fourth time : 

" John Richard is a crackin good feller they 
most all of em are that are on my side but for all 
that I don t believe a word of what he said about the 

I kep demute, ^nd wouldn t say what I did be 
lieve or what I didn t, for I felt tired some myself ; 
and I felt if he insisted and went on, T should be led 
into arguin with him. 

For Cousin John Richard s talk had fell into mel- 
ler ground in my brain, and I more than mistrusted 
it wuz a springin up there onbeknown to me. 

Josiah Allen and I never did, and I spoze never 
will, think alike about things, and I am fur more 
mejum than he is. 

And then he sort o satisfies himself by lookin at 
one side of a idee, while I always want to walk 
round it and see what is on the other side on it, and 
turn it over and see what is under it, etc., etc. 

But anon he bust out agin, and his axent was one 
that must be replied to ; I felt it wouldn t do to 
ignore it any longer. 

Sez he, " I am dead sick of all this talk about the 
Race Problem." 

Then why," sez I, mildly but firmly, " why do 
you insist on talkin on it ?" 

" I want to tell you my feelin s," sez he. 

Sez I, " I know em, Josiah Allen." 

And then I sot demute, and hoped I had averte 


the storm or, ruther, I would call it the squall, 
for I didn t expect a hard tempest, more of a drizzle. 

So I knit fast, and sot in hope. 

But anon he begun agin : 

" I am sick on t. I believe more n half the talk is 
for effect. I don t believe the South is a bleedin ; 
I hain t seen no blood. I don t believe the niggers 
are a rizen, I hain t seen em a gettin up. I believe 
it is all folderol." 

And then I sez, a lookin up from my knittin* 
work : 

" Be mejum, Josiah Allen ; you don t live there. 
You hain t so good a judge as if you lived in the 
South ; you hain t so good a judge as John Richard 
is, for he has lived right there." 

And he snapped out real snappish : 

" Wall, there is lots of places I never lived in, 
hain t there? But anybody can know sunthin , 
whether they live anywhere or not." 

But I kep on real mejum and a talkin deep rea 
son, I know well. 

" When anybody is a passin through deep waters, 
Josiah Allen, they can feel the cold waves and the 
chill as nobody can who is on dry land." 

And then Josiah said them inflammatory words 
agin that he had hurled at the head of John Rich 
ard, and that had gaulded him so. He sez in a loud, 
defiant axent, " Oh shaw !" 

And I sez, "You hain t there, Josiah Allen, and 
you hain t so well qualified to shaw, and shaw ac- 
cordin* to principle, as if you wuz there." 

Wall, I say, and contend for it," sez he, almost 
hotly, " that there is too much dumb talk. Why 


don t the niggers behave 
themselves, and why don t the 
Southerners treat em as I 
treat Ury ? 

11 Ury has worked for me 
upwards of seven years, and 
he hain t riz, has he ? And 
I hain t been a howlin at him, 
and a whippin him, and a 
shootin at him, and a ridin 
him out on a rail, and a burnin 
him to the stake if he wouldn t vote me in Presi 
dent ; and he hain t been a massecreein us, not that 
I have ever hearn on, or a rapinin round, and I 
hain t rapined Philury, have I ? 

11 If there is any truth in these stories, why don t 
the South foller on and do as I do ? That would 
end their troubles to once. 

" Let the Southerners act as I do, and the niggers 
act like Ury, and that would end up the Race Prob 
lem pretty sudden." 

Sez I, in pretty lofty axents, for I begun to feel 
eloquent and by the side of myself, " How many 
generations has it took to make you honest and con 
siderate, and Ury faithful and patient ? How long 
has it took, Josiah Allen ?" 

Why, about seven years or thereabouts. He 
come in the middle of winter, and now it is spring." 

Sez I, "It has took hundreds and hundreds of 
years, Josiah Allen." 

And I went on more noble and deep : 

" Ury s parents and grandparents, and back as 
fur as he knows, wuz good, hard-workin , honest 


men so wuz yours. You are both the children oi 
freedom and liberty. You haven t been saddled 
with a burden of ignorance and moral and physical 
helplessness and want. He has no lurid back 
ground of abuse and wrongs and arrogance to in- 
flame his fevered fancies. 

" You might as well say that you could gather as 
good grain down in your old swamp that has never 
been tilled sence the memory of man, as you can in 
your best wheat field, that has been ploughed, and 
harrowed, and enriched for year after year. 

The old swamp can be made to yield good grain, 
Josiah Allen, but it has got to be burned over, and 
drained, and ploughed, and sown with good grain. 

4 There is a Hand that is able to do this, Josiah 
Allen. And," sez I, lookin off some distance be- 
yend him and Jonesville, " there is a Hand that I be 
lieve is a dealin with that precious soil in which 
saints and heroes are made, and where the beauteous 
flower of freedom blows out. 

" Has not the South been ploughed with the 
deep plough of God s purpose burned with the 
lightnin of His own meanin , enriched with the 
blood of martyrs and heroes ? Has not the cries of 
His afflicted ones rose to the heavens while onbe- 
known to em the chariot of Freedom wuz march- 
in down towards the Red Sea, to go ahead on em 
through the dretful sea of bloodshed and tribula 
tions, while the black clouds ot battle riz up and hid 
the armies of Slavery and Freedom, hid the oppress 
ors and the oppressed ? 

" But the sea opened before em, and they passed 
through on dry land. 


41 Now they are encamped in the wilderness, and 
the tall, dark shapes of Ignorance and Hereditary 
Weakness and Vice are a stalkin along by their 
sides, and coverin em with their black shadows. 
The stumps are thick in their way. The old trees 
of Custom and Habit, though their haughty tops 
may have been cut off a little by the lightnin of 
war, yet the black, solid, onbroken stumps stand 
thick in their way so thick they can t force their 
way through em and the black mud of Open 
Enmity, and Arrogance, and Prejudice is on one side 
of em, and on the other the shiftin , treacherous 
quicksands of Mistaken Counsel. 

" Their way is blocked up, and the light is dim 
over their heads. Religion and Education is the 
light that is goin ahead on em ; but that piller of 
fire is some ways ahead of em, and its rays are 
hindered by the branchin shadows over their heads. 
And who will be the Moses to lead em out of this 
wilderness into their own land ?" 

I wuz almost entirely by the side of myself with 
deep emotions of pity and sympathy and a desire to 
help em, and I felt riz up, too, in my mind awful 
riz up and I spoke out agin, entirely onbeknown to 
myself : 

" Who will be the Moses to lead em into the 
Promised Land?" 

"Wall, it won t be me," sez Josiak " I am 
goin out to bed down the horses." 

I wuz took aback, and brung down too sudden 
from the Mount of Eloquence I had been standin 

And I put on my nightcap and went to bed. 


Now, I don t spoze you would believe it most 
anybody wouldn t but the very next mornin Josiah 
Allen resoomed and took up that conversation agin, 
that I fondly hoped he had thrown down for good 
when he so suddenly departed to the horse barn. 

But if you can believe it, before I got breakfast 
ready, while he was a wipin his hands to the sink 
on the roller towel, he broke out agin as fresh seem 
ingly in debate as ever. 

If I had mistrusted it ahead I should have made 
extra preparation for breakfast, for the purpose of 
quellin him down, but I hadn t dreamed of his re- 
soomin it agin ; and I only got my common run of 
brekfasses, though it wuz very good and appe- 
tizin . 

I had some potatoes warmed up in cream, and 
some lamb-chops broiled brown and yet juicy, some 
hot muffins light as a feather, and some delicious 
coffee it wuz good enough for a King or a Zar 
but then it wuzn t one of my choice efforts, for prin 
ciple s sake, which I often have to make in the 
cookin lire, and good land ! which every other 
human woman has to make who has a man to deal 

We can t vote, and we have to do sunthin or 
other to get our own way. 

Wall, as I wuz a sayin . he broke out anew, and 
sez he : 

I am sick as a dog of all this talk about the Race 

And then agin I uttered them wise words I had 
spoken the night before ; they wuz jest heavy with 
wisdom if he had only known it ; and sez I : 


" What makes you keep a bringin it up, then 
and a talkin about it ?" 

And agin he sez, " He done it to let me know 
how he felt about it." 

And agin I sez, " I knew it before.* 

And I silently but smoothly poured my sweet 
cream over my sliced potatoes, and turned my lamb- 
chops and drawed my coffee forwards so it would 
come to a bile. 

And he repeated, " I believe in lettin things 
alone that don t consarn us ; it hain t none of our 
bizness. " 

And seein he wuz bound on talkin on it, why, I 
felt a feelin that I must roust up and set him right 
where I see he wuz wrong ; I see it was my duty as 
a devoted pardner. And so, after we had got down 
to the table, and he sez agin in more powerful and 
even high-headed axents, " that it wuz none of our 
bizness," then I spunked up and sez, " It seems to 
me, Josiah Allen, that the cause of eternal truth is 
always our bizness." 

" Oh, wall ! it hain t best to meddle ; that is my 
idee, and that is my practice. Don t you know that 
when Ury had that fight with Sam Shelmadine, I 
said I wouldn t either make nor break? I said I 
won t meddle, and I didn t meddle. It wuzn t my 

" But you found it wuz your bizness before you 
got through with it you lost Ury s help six weeks 
in your hurryenst time, when he wuz away to the 
lawsuit, etc., etc. And it made Philury sick, and you 
and I had to be up with her more or less, and you 
took cold there one night, and had a sickness that 



lasted you for weeks and almost killed you ; and if 
you had died," sez I in deep tones of affection and 
pathos, " if you had left your devoted pardner for 
ever, could you have looked me in the face and said 
that this trouble of theirs wuzn t nuthin that affect 
ed us ? No ; when a black cloud comes up the sky 
you can t tell where the lightnin is a goin to hit 
whether it will strike saint or sinner." I see he 
wuz affected by my tender and eloquent allusion to 
his passin away ; for a moment he looked softened 
and almost as if he wuz a goin to lay down the 
argument somewhere and leave it there. But anon 
his linement clouded up, and he assumed the ex 
pression of doggy obstinacy his sect knows so well 
how to assume, and sez he : 

" But this is sunthin entirely different. There 
hain t no earthly possibility that this nigger question 
can affect us one way or another ; there hain t no 
way for it to," sez he. 

Sez I, " Hain t you got a heart, Josiah Allen, to 
help others who are in trouble and jeopardy, and 
don t know which way to turn to get the right 

" I have got a heart to help Number One to help 
Josiah Allen and I have got a heart to mind my 
own bizness, and I am a goin to." 

And he passed over his cup agin for the third 
cup of coffee. That man drinks too much coffee it 
hain t good for him ; but I can t help it ; and my 
coffee is delicious anyway, and the cream is thick 
and sweet, and he loves it too well, as I say ; but as 
good as it wuz, it couldn t draw his mind from his 
own idees. 


Sez he agin, in louder axents and more decideder 
ones : 

" There hain t no possible way that we can be 
affected by the Race Problem one way or another." 

And I begun to feel myself a growin* real elo 
quent. I don t love to get so eloquent that time of 
the day, but mebby it wuz the effect of that gauldin 
tone of hisen. Anyway, I sez : 

"It is impossible to guard one s self aginst the 
effects of a mighty wrong. 

4 The links that weld humanity together are such 
curius ones, wove out of so many strands, visible 
and invisible, strong as steei and relentless as death, 
and that reach out so fur, so fur on every side, how 
can any one tell whether a great strain and voya- 
lence inflicted on the lowest link of that chain may 
not shatter and corrode and destroy the very high 
est and brightest one ? 

The hull chain of humanity is held in one hand, 
and we are bein pulled along by that mighty, inex 
orable hand into we know not what. 

The link that shines the brightest to-day may be 
rusty to-morrow, the strongest one may be torn in 
pieces by some sudden and voyalent wrench, or 
some slow, wearin strain comin from beneath. 

" How can we tell, and how dast we say that a 
evil that affects one class of humanity can never 
reach us how do we know it won t ?" 

" Because we do know it !" hollered Josiah. " I 
know it is jest as I tell you, that that dumb nigger 
question can t never touch us anyway. I ve said 
it, and I ll stick to it." 

But I still felt real eloquent, and I went right on 


and drew some metafors, as I most always do when 
1 get to goin , I can t seem to help it. 

Sez I, " The temperate man may say the liquor 
question will never affect him, but some day he 
gathers his sober children about him, and finds one 
is missin the pet of them all driven down in the 
street to death by a drunken driver. 

"A Christian woman sez, This question of So 
cial Purity cannot affect me, for I am pure and come 
from a pure ancestry. But there comes a day 
when she finds the lamb of her flock overtaken and 
slain by this evil she thought could never touch her. 
The rich capitalist sets back in his luxurious 
chair and reads of the grirn want that is howlin 
about the hovels of the poor laborers, the deaths by 
exposure and starvation. The graves of these 
starved victims seem fur off to him. They can 
never affect him, he thinks, so fur is he removed in 
his luxurious surroundin s from all sights of woe 
and squalor. 

" But even as he sets there thinkin this, in his 
curtained ease, a bullet aimed by the gaunt, fren 
zied hand of some starvin child of labor strikes his 
heart, and he finds in death the same level that the 
victims of want found by starvation. 

The mighty chain of humanity has drawn em 
on together, the high and the low, down to the 
equality of the grave. 

The hull chain of humanity is held in one hand 
anyway, and is beyend our control in its conse 

" And how dast we to say with blind confidence 
that we know thus and so ; that the evils that affect 


our brothers will not some time come to us ; that the 
shadows that lay so heavy on their heads will not 
some time fall on us ?" 

1 They hain t our brothers," hollered out Josiah 
in fearful axents. He wuzn t melted down at all by 
my eloquent remarks ; no, fur from it. 

They hain t my brothers, and I know these 
dumb doin s in the South won t affect us, nor can t, 
and you can t make it," sez he. 

The idee of my wantin to ! But that is the nater 
of men wantin to say sunthin to kinder blame a 
female. And truly he acted mad as a hen to think 
I should venter to talk back, or even speak on the 

Oh, short-sighted man that he wuz when the 
darkness wuz even then gatherin in the distance 
onbeknown to us, to take the shape of the big 
shadow that wuz to fall on his poor old heart and 
mine the shadow reachin from the Southern sky 
even unto the North, and that would blot out all the 
sunshine for us lor many and many a weary day, 
and that we must set down under for all the rest of 
our lives ! 

But I am a eppisodin . 



ALL, it never rains but it pours, 
duz it ? And it has been my 
experience durin quite a mid- 
dlin long life (jest how long, 
hain t no matter, as I know on, to anybody but 
the man who takes our senses). 

But as I wuz say in , it has always been my ex 
perience that if company gets to comin either on 
my side or hisen, they keep a comin . 

And it wuz only a short time after John Richard s 
departure and exodus that I got a letter from a 
aunt on my side kinder askin and proposin* to have 
her daughter Melinda Ann come to Jonesville to 
make us a long visit. 

And only a little while after this, one of hisen writ 
to the same effect. 


And we had em both here to one time. 

It wuz hard, but it seemed providential, and 
couldn t be helped, and it worked out a onexpected 
good in the end that paid us some for it. But I 
wouldn t go through it agin for a dollar bill. 

You see the way on t is, I sot out in married life 
determined to do as well or better by the relations 
on his side than I did by them on my own side. I 
wuz bound to do well by the hull on em, jest 
bound to. 

But I made up my mind like iron that I would 
stand more, take more sass, be more obleegin , and 
suffer and be calm more from hisen than from mine, 
and I would do awful, awful well by both sides. 

And it wuz these beliefs carried out and spread 
out into practice that caused my agonies and my 
sufferin s that 1 went through for weeks. 

The way on t wuz, I had a letter from the city 
from my great-aunt Melinda Lyons, a tellin me that 
ner oldest girl, Melinda Ann (a old maiden), wuz 
all run down with nervous prostration, nervous fits 
and things, and she asked me if I would be willin to 
have her come down into the country and stay a 
lew weeks with me. 

Wall, Aunt Melinda had done a good many good 
turns by me when I wuz a girl, and then I set quite 
a good deal of store by Melinda Ann, she and I wuz 
jest about of a age, and I talked it over with Josiah, 
and we give our consents and writ the letter, and 
the next week Melinda Ann come on, bag and bag 
gage. A leather trunk and a bag for baggage. 

Wall, we found Melinda Ann wuz very good dispo- 
sitioned and a Christian, but hard to get along with. 



The least thing we could do or say that wuz no< 
jest so would throw her into a fit a nervous fit you 
know she would have spazzums, and all sally 
away, and faint like, and act. 

And then I would have to soothe her with cat 
nip, and bring her up with mustard poultices, and 
apply a soap-stone to her. 

Why, one night Josiah happened to throw he 
bootjack down kinder hard (he had a corn and hit 
it, bein the cause). 

Wall, I stood over Melinda more n two hours 
after that, three poultices bein applied in vain for 
relief, till arneky softened the blow to her. 

And one night the slats came out of the hired 
man s bed, jest acrost the hall from hern, and it 
took more n a quart of catnip to make her hull 

And the cat fell through the suller winder we 
have got a blind cat that acts like fury, always a fall- 
in round and a prowlin wall, I thought Melinda 
Ann would never come to. 

She thought it wuz Injuns ; and the cat did 
scream awful, I ll admit ; it fell onto some tin ware 
piled up onto a table under the winder, and it skairt 
even the cat almost to death, so you can imagine 
the condition it throwed Melinda into. I thought it 
wuz ghosts, and so did Josiah, and felt riz up in my 
mind and full of or. 

But I am a eppisodin , and to resoom. 

Wall, I guess Melinda Ann had been there about 
a week, and as well as I liked Aunt Melinda, and as 
well as I loved duty, I wuz a beginnin to feel per 
fectly beat out and fearfully run down in my mind 


and depressted, for fits is depresstin , no matter how 
much duty and nobility of soul you may bring to 
bear onto em, or catnip. 

Wall, I wuz a beginnin to look bad, and so wuz 
Josiah, although Josiah, though I am fur from ap- 
provin of his course, yet it is the truth that he 
seemed to find some relief in givin vent to his feel- 
in s out on one side, and blowin round and groanin 
out to the barn and in the woodhouse, more than I 
did, who took it calm, and considered it a dispensa 
tion from the first, and took it as such. 

Wall, if you ll believe it, right on the top of these 
sufferin s come a letter from a relation of Josiah s, a 
widowed man by the name of Peter Tweedle. 

He wuz a distant relation of Josiah Allen lived 
about two hundred miles away. 

He writ that he wuz lonesome he had lost his 
companion for the third time, and it wore on him. 
He felt that the country air would do him good. 
(We found out afterwards that he had rented his 
house sence his bereavement and had lived in a 
boarding-house, and had been warned out by the 
crazed landlady and the infuriated boarders, owing 
to reasons which will appear hereafter, and had to 
move on). 

Wall, he wanted to come and visit round to our 
house first, and then to the other relations. 

And I sez to myself, it is one of em on his side, 
and not one word will I say agin the idee, not if 
I fall down in my tracks. 

And Josiah was so kinder beat out with Melinda, 
and depressted and wore out by havin* to go round 
in his stockin feet so much and whisperin , that he 


said, " That any change would be a agreeable one, 
and he should write for Peter to come." 

And I, buoyed up by my principle, never said a 
word agin the idee, only jest this : 

11 Think well on it, Josiah Allen, before you make 
the move." 

And sez Josiah, " It will be a comfort to make a 
move of any kind." 

He had been kep awful still, I ll admit. But I 
couldn t see how it wuz goin to make it any better 
to have another relation let in, on whomsoever s side 
they wuz. 

Howsomever, I see that Josiah wuz determined, 
and I felt a delicacy about interferin , knowin well 
that I had one of the relations on my own side in 
the house. Who wuz I, I sez to myself who be 
I, to set up agin hisen ? No, I never will. So the 
letter of acceptance wuz writ, and in less than a 
week s time Peter Tweedle come. 

We spozed he would bring a satchel bag with 
him ; mebby a big one, but good land ! Josiah 
had to go after his baggage with the Democrat 
wagon. We see he had come to stay ; it wuzn t a 
evenescent visit, but a long campane. 

We didn t know at the time that they wuz most all 
musical instruments ; we thought they wuz clothes. 

I see a black shadder come over my companion s 
face as he shouldered the fifth trunk and took it up 
two flights of stairs into the attick. 

He had filled the bedroom and hall. 

Wall, I guess Peter Tweedle hadn t been in the 
house over half an hour before he walked up to the 
organ and asked me if Jt wuz in good repair. 


I sez, " I guess so/ 

Sez he, " How many banks of reeds is in it ?" 

I sez, " I don t know/ 

Sez he, " Have you any objections to my try in* 

I sez, "No/ 

Sez he, " Sence my last affliction I have turned 
my mind agin towards music, I find it soothes." Sez 
he, " After my first bereavement I took up the 
pickelo I still play on it at intervals ; I learned 
that and the snare drum durin them dark hours," 
sez he. " And I still play on em in lonesome mo 
ments. I have em both with me," sez he. 

" Durin my next affliction I learned the clari 
net, the fife, and the base violin. Now," sez he, 
" I am turnin my mind onto the brass horn in 
various keys. But I have brought all my instru 
ments with me," sez he, in a encouragin axent. 
" I frequently turn from one to another. When I 
get lonesome in the night," sez he, " I frequently 
run from one to another till I have exhausted the 
capabilities of each, so to speak." 

I sithed and couldn t help it, but I held firm on 
the outside, and he turned to the organ. 

" I love the organ," sez he ; and with that he sot 
down on the music-stool, opened up all the loud 
bases, the double octave coupler, blowed hard, and 
bust out in song. 

Wall, it all come jest as sudden onto Melinda as a 
thunder-clap out of a parlor ceilin , or a tornado out 
of a teacup, it wuz as perfectly onexpected and on- 
looked for as they would be, and jest as skairful. 

For this wuz one of her bad days, and bein a old 


maid, we thought mebby it would excite her too 
much to know a widower wuz in the house, so we 
had kep it from her. 

And the first intimation she had of Peter ses pres 
ence wuz this awful loud blast of sound. 

His voice wuz loud in the extreme, and it wuz 
" Coronation" he bust out in. 

He is pious, there hain t a doubt on t, but still 
" Coronation" is the loudest him in the him-book. 

Wall, the very first time he blasted forth I knew 
jest as well as I knew afterwards what the result 
would be. , 

I hastened upstairs, and there she wuz, there sot 
Melinda Ann in a fit ; she hadn t had time to get 
onto the bed, and there she sot bolt upright in her 
rockin chair in a historical fit. We had better let 
her known he wuz there. 

Wall, I histed her onto the bed as quick as I 
could, and hollered down the back stairs for catnip. 

And as soon as I had brung her to a little, she 
would clench right into me, and groan and choke, 
and sort o froth to the mouth. 

And I ll be hanged if I didn t feel like it myself, 
for right down under our feet I heard that loud, 
thunderin organ, for his legs wuz strong, and he 
blowed hard. 

But yet so curius is human nater, specially 
wimmen s human nater right there in my agony I 
couldn t help bein proud o that instrument. I had 
no idee, I said to myself, not a idee, that it had such 
a volume of sound. 

But loud as it wuz, Peter ses clarion voice rung 
out loud and high above it. 



It wuz a fearful time, very. But even at that 
moment I sez to myself agin : 

" He is a relation on his side be calm !" and I 
wuz calm. 


Wall, I rubbed Melinda Ann and explained i 1 
her, and poulticed her, and got her kinder sett 

And I see it took up her mind some. She didn t 
seem to dislike it now, after the first shock wuz over. 

And I left her propped up on her piller a listening 
and went down and got supper. 


Wall, it wuz all I could do to get that man away 
from the instrument long enough to eat. 

He seemed to be kinder absent-minded and lost 
like till he got back to it agin. 

Wall, it had been still for some time ; you couldn t 
hear a thing from the dinin room up in Melinda s 
room. And when he bust out agin imegiatly after 
supper, it wuz too much, too much, for I spoze she 
had been in a drowze. 

It wuz " Hold the Fort he belched out in, with 
all the steam on. He had a way, Peter had, of bust- 
in out loudest when he b2gun, and then kinder 
dwindle down towards the last of the piece. (But it 
wuz one of em on his side, and I didn t murmur, 
not out loud, I didn t.) 

Wall, I knew what wuz before me at the first vol 
ley of sound. I sez to myself : 

" Melinda Ann ! Melinda Ann !" and hurried up 

And there she wuz lay in back on her piller with 
her eyes rolled up in her head and nxed, and her 
nuckels clenched. 

Wall, I brung her to agin after a long and tejus 
process, and then agin I see that she sort o enjoyed 
it ; and I left her propped up and went down and 
helped do up the work. 

Wall, Peter never stopped play in till a late bedtime. 

And then I might have slept some at first, only 
Josiah begun a noise where he left off, a scoldin and 
a jawin . 

And oh ! my sufferin s that I suffered with that 
man. I reminded him that Peter wuz a relation on 
his side no avail. 


I brung up his lonesome state. 

Josiah said, " He d ought to be lonesome ! He d 
ought to be fur away in the middle of the desert or 
on a island in the depths of the seas. Alone ! 
alone !" 

He raved, he swore, he said, " Dumb him !" re 

You see Josiah hated music anyway, only the 
very softest, lowest kind ; and Peter ses wuz powerful 
powerful and continuous. 

But I reminded Josiah Allen in the cause of duty 
that he had complained that the house wuz too still 
sence Melinda Ann had come, and he wanted a 

" I never wanted to be in a Lunatick Asylum," sez 
he ; "I didn t hanker for Bedlam," he yelled. 

Wall, suffice it to say that I never got a wink of 
sleep till past midnight. And mebby it wuz about 
one o clock, when all of a sudden we wuz all waked 
up by a low, rumblin noise, strange and weird. 

My first thought was a earthquake, and then a 

But Josiah Allen had waked up first and got his 
senses before I did, and sez he : 

" It is that dumb fool a playin on a base viol." 

And that wuz what it proved to be. He had got 
lonesome in the night, and got up and onpacked the 
base viol, and wuz playin a low, mournful piece on 
it, so s not to wake us up. 

He said in the mornin that he held it in for that 

He is a good-natured creeter, and a mourner, 
there hain t no doubt on t, and so I told Josiah. 


And he snapped out enough to take my head off : 

" He d ought to mourn ! I mourn," sez he, 
* Heaven knows I do. But I shan t mourn after the 
first ray of daylight, for I ll take his trunks and throw 
em outdoors, and him on top of em. And I ll cast 
out Melinda Ann like a viper," sez he. " I ll empty 
the house of the hull crew of fools and lunaticks ! I ll 
do it," sez he, " if I have a breath left in my body." 

When he sez this I thought of Melinda Ann. Had 
she got a breath left ? Wuz she alive ? Or wuz 
she not ? 

I jest sprung over Josiah Allen, I trompled on 
him, I won t deny it, in my haste to get up, and I 
left him groanin and a sayin in a low, mournful 
axent : 

That foot could never be stepped on agin by 

But I didn t stop to comfort him ; no, my mind 
wuz too much took up with the relation on my side. 

I hastened upstairs, and there wuz my worst fears 

Melinda Ann wuz wild as a hen hawk. 

She had got the winder up and wuz jest a spring- 
in out. I ketched her by her limb and hollered for 
Josiah. Before he got there she had got her hands 
clenched into my hair and wuz a try in to choke me. 

But, good land ! she didn t know what she wuz a 
doin . 

Wall, Josiah Allen by main strength got her into 
the house agin, and after a tussle we got her onto 
the bed. And then I begun to doctor her up. 

But I never tried to go to bed agin that night, foi 
it wuz daylight before I got her quieted down. 



Wall, Josiah had to go off that mornin early on 
bizness, to be gone all day. And I wuz glad on t, 
for I ^uz afraid, in spite of all I could do, he would 


do sunthin to disgrace himself in the eyes of both 
sides. His last words to me wuz : 

" If 1 find either of them cussed fools in the house 


when I get back, I ll burn the house down over their 

But I knew he wouldn t, I knew he would quiet 
down while he wuz gone, and he did. 

But my sufferin s through that day can t never be 
told or sung. And the martyrs that I called on, 
and the groans and sithes that I smothered in my 
breast waist, couldn t be told. 

But jest as I expected, when Peter first blasted 
out on the clarinet loud and strong, not bein afraid 
of wakin anybody up, I had to drop everything and 
go right up to Melinda Ann. But the attack wuz 
light, and, as usual, after she got over the first shock 
she enjoyed it. 

And I happened to mention havin that pride I 
have spoke of, of havin the relations on his side 
stand on their best foot before mine I happened to 
mention that Peter got up and played in the night 
because he wuz lonesome, and that he said he would 
give half his property (he wuz well off) if he had 
somebody to play the organ while he played the 

I see she grew more meller-lookin and brightened 
up, and she sez : 

" I used to be a good player." 

And if you ll believe it I don t spoze you will, 
for Josiah wouldn t when I told him that night 

But when Josiah Allen came home that night they 
wuz a playin together like a pair of turkle doves, 
she a playin the organ, and he a settin by her a 
tootin , both as happy as kings. 

And from that time out she never got skairt agin 
when he bust out sudden in song or begun gradual. 


And her fits grew lighter and lighter and fur sel- 

And though our sufferin s wuz heavy and severe 
to hear that organ and clarinet, or base viol, or 
pickelo, or brass horn a goin day and night, yet I 
seemed to see what- wuz a comin on t, and I held 
Josiah by main force to stand still and let providen 
tial circumstances have a straight path to move 
on in. 

Wall, after two weeks of sufferin on our part 
almost onexampled in history, ancient or modern, 
the end come. 

Peter Tweedle took Josiah out one side and told 
him, as bein the only male relation Melinda Ann 
had handy to get at, " that he had it in his mind to 
marry her quietly and take her at once to his home 
in the city," and he asked Josiah " if he had any ob 

And Josiah told me that he spoke out fervently 
and earnestly, and sez, " No ! Heaven knows I 
hain t." 

And he urged Peter warm to have the weddin 
sudden and to once, that very day and hour, and 
offered to get the minister there inside of twenty 

But Iwuz bound to have things carried on decent. 
So I sot the day most a week off, and I sent for 
Aunt Melinda and his children that wuz married, 
and the single one, and we had a quiet little wed 
din , or it would have been, only the last thing that 
they done in the house before they left wuz to get 
the hull crew on em to bust out in a weddin song- 
loud enough almost to raise the ruff. 


Wall, Peter writ to Josiah that he hadn t been 
lonesome sence it took place, not a minute. 

And Melinda Ann writ to me that she hadn t had 
a fit sence, nor a spazzum. 

So, as I told Josiah Allen, our sufferin s brung 
about good to two lonesome and onhappy and fitty 
creeters, and we ort to be thankful when we look 
back on our troubles and afflictions with em. 

And he looked at me enough to take my head off 
if a look could guletine, and sez he : 

Thankful ! Oh, my gracious Heaven ! hear 
her ! Thankful !" 

And his tone wuz such that I hain t dasted to 
bring up the subject sence. No, I don t dast to, 
but I do inside of me feel paid for all I went 



ALL, it wuzn t more than a few days 
after the marriage and departure of 
Peter and Melinda Ann, when I got 
a letter from Cousin John Richard 
he wuz then in South Carolina, hard at work agin, 
literally follerin the example of Him who went 
about doin good. 

The letter wuz writ in pure friendship, and then 
he wanted to find out the ingredients of that spignut 
syrup I had give him when he wuz at Jonesville, 
his throat wuz a botherin him agin, and he said that 
had helped him. 

That is a good syrup, very, though mebby I hadn t 
ort to say t it. It is one that I made up out of my 
own head, and is a success. 

Yeller dock, and dandelion roots, and spignut, 
steeped up strong, and sweetened with honey. 

I sent it to him to once, with some spignut roots b) 
mail ; I wuz afraid he couldn t get em in the South. 


And in my letter I asked him out of politeness, 
as it were, ho\v he wuz a gettin along colporterin , 
and if things looked any brighter to him in the South. 

And such a answer as I got such a letter ! why, 
it wuz a sermon almost. Jest as skairful, jest as 
earnest, and jest as flowery as the talk he had talked 
to us when he wuz with us. 

Why, it fairly sent the cold chills over me as I 
read it. 

But it madded Josiah. He wuz mad as a hen to 
hear it, and he said agin that he believed Cousin 
John Richard (Josiah knew he wuz jest as good as 
gold, and he wouldn t brook a word from anybody 
else agin him), but he said he believed he wuz a 
losin his faculties. 

He didn t believe a word on t. He didn t believe 
there wuz any danger nor any trouble ; if folks would 
only let the South alone and mind their own biz- 
ness, it would get along well enough. But some 
folks had always got to be a putterin around, and 
a meddlin , and he shouldn t wonder a mite if John 
Richard wuz a doin jest such a work as that. 

And I sez mildly, " Sometimes things have to be 
meddled with in order to get ahead any." 

Wall," sez he, " don t you know how, if there 
is any trouble in a family, the meddlers and inter- 
ferers are the ones that do the most mischief ?" 

" But," sez I, " teachin religion and distributin 
tracts and spellin books hadn t ort to do any hurt." 

Wall, I d no, " sez Josiah. I d no what kind 
of tracts he is a circulatin , mebby they are inflami- 
tory. If they are offen a piece with some of his talk 
here, I should think the South would ride him out." 


And so Josiah went on a runnin John Richard s 
work and belief down to the lowest notch ; and I 
wuz glad enough when Deacon Henzy come in on a 
errant, for I wuz indeed in hopes that this would 
change the subject. 

But my hopes, as all earthly expectations are 
liable to be, wuz blasted. For Josiah went right on 
with his inflamed speeches and his unbelief about 
any danger a threatenin the nation from the South. 

And I truly found myself in the condition of the 
one mentioned in Scripture (only different sex and 
circumstances), where it sez the last state of that 
man wuz worse than the first. For while my pard- 
ner s talk had consisted mostly of the sin of unbelief, 
Deacon Henzy s remarks wuz full of a bitter hatred 
and horstility towards the ex-slaveholders of the 
Southern States. 

He truly had no bowels of compassion for em, 
not one. 

He come from radical abolitionist stock on both 
sides, and wuz brung up under the constant throw- 
in of stuns, thro wed by parents and grandparents 
at them they considered greater sinners than them- 

And Deacon Henzy had gathered up them stuns 
and set em in a settin of personal obstinacy and 
bigotry, and wore em for a breastplate. 

And hard it wuz to hit any soft place under them 
rocky layers of prejudices inherited and acquired. 

And he and his folks before him didn t know 
what the word mejum wuz, not by personal experi 

It needed only a word to set him off. fosiab 


spoke that word, and the wheel begun to turn and 
grind out denunciations of the Southerners as a 
class and as a people. 

Oh, how he rolled out big-soundin terms of 
scathin reproaches and burnin rebukes, and the 
horrible wickedness of one human bein enslavin 
another one and enrichin himself on the unpaid 
labor of a brother man ! 

Why, it wuz fairly skairful to hear him go on, fur 
skairfuller than Josiah s talk. 

He had always talked rampant on the subject I 
knew, but as rampant as he had always been he wuz 
now fur rampanter than I had ever known him 
to be. 

But as I found out most imegiatly, he wuz agitat 
ed and excited on this occasion almost more than he 
could bear, when he first come in. 

For he soon went on and told us ail about it. 

A boy he had took Zekiel Place by name had 
run away and left him ; or, that is, he had made all 
his preparations to go when the Deacon found it out, 
and the boy give him the chance of lettin him go or 
keepin him and payin him wages for his work. 

Now, Deacon Henzy, like so many other human 
creeters, wuz so intent on findin out and stunin 
other folks es faults, that he didn t have time to set 
down and find out about his own sins and stun him 
self, so to speak. 

He never had thought, so I spoze, what a hard 
master he wuz, and how he had treated Zekiel Place. 

But I knew it ; and all the while he went on a 
talkin about " the ignorance and wastefulness and 
shiftlessness of this class of boys, and how impossi- 


ble it wuz to manage em and keep em down in their 
places ; how you had to set down on em and set 
heavy if you didn t want to be bairded to your face 
and run over by em ; how if you give em an inch 
they would take a ell, and destroy and waste more 
than their necks wuz worth," etc., etc., etc. 

All the while he wuz a goin on and asayin all this 
I kep up a thinkin , for I knew that Zekiel was a 
middlin good boy, and had been misused by the 
Deacon, so I had hearn had been worked beyend 
his strength, and whipped, and didn t get enough to 
eat, so the boy said. 

The Deacon had took him for his board and 
clothes ; but his board wuz hard indeed, and very 
knotty, and his clothes wuz very light, very. 

And so, bein , as I spoze, sort o drove to it, he 
riz. And as I say, the Deacon was madder than any 
hen I ever see, wet or dry 

"The idee," sez he, "of that boy, that I have 
took care on ever sence he wuz a child, took care on 
him in health, and nussed him, and doctored him 
when he wuz sick" (lobelia and a little catnip wuz 
every mite of medicine he ever give him, and a lit 
tle paregoric, so I have been told) " the idee of 
that boy a leavin me a rizin up and a sayin as pert 
as a piper, If you don t want to hire me, let me 

g0 ;, " 

* Wall, which did you do, Deacon ?" sez I. 
Why, I hired the dumb upstart ! I couldn t get 
along without his work, and he knew it." 

The laborer, Deacon Henzy," sez I, solemn, 
is worthy of his hire. 
" Wall, didn t I lay out to pay him ? I laid out 


this very fall to get him a pair of pantaloons and a 
vest and a cravat. I laid out to pay him richly. 
And he had better a trusted to me, who have been 
a perfect father and gardeen to him, than to have 
riz up and demanded his pay. But," sez he, " there 
is no use of talkin about it now, it only excites me 
and onmans me, and I come in merely to borry a 
augur and have a little neighborly visit. 

And then wantin , I spoze, to take his mind offen 
his own troubles, he sort o launched off agin onto 
his favorite theme of runnin down the Southerners. 
The Southern people," sez he, " are a mass of 
overbearing tyrannical slave-drivers, selfish, without 
principles or consciences, crackin their whips over 
the blacks, drivin em to work, refusin em any jus 

Why," sez I, " the slaves are liberated, Deacon 

" Wall, why be they ?" sez he. " It wuzn t from 
any good will on the part of the bloated aristocracy 
of the South. They liberated em because they had 
to. Why didn t they free em because it wuz right 
to free em ? because it wuz right and just to the 
slaves ? because it wuz a wicked sin that cried up to 
the heavens to make em labor, and not pay em 
for it?" 

Why, he went on in fearful axents of wrath and 
skorn about it, and finally bein* so wrought up, he 
said, " that them that upholded em wuz as bad as 
they wuz." 

Why, we had never dreamed of upholdin em, 
nor thought on t ; but he felt so. 

He threw stuns fearful at the South, and at Josiah 


and me because we didn t jine in with him and rip 
and tear as he did. 

And them stuns kinder hurt me after a while ; and 
so, when he asked me for the seventh time : 


4 Why didn t they free their slaves before they 
wuz obleeged to ?" 

Then I sez, " It wuz probable for the same reason 
that you didn t liberate Zekiel mostly selfish 
ness !" 


What ! what did you say ?" He could not be 
lieve his ear ; he craned his neck, he turned the 
other ear. He wuz browbeat and stunted ; and 
agin he sez : " What did you say ?" 

And I sez agin, calm as cream, but sharp and 
keen as a simiter, " I said it wuz selfishness, Dea 
con, and the power of old custom jest the reasons 
why you didn t free Zekiel." 

His linement fell more n a inch. Like the Queen 
of Sheba before Solomon (only different sex) he had 
no spirit left in him. 

He never had mistrusted ; it made him feel so 
awful good to run the South further down than any 
thing or anybody wuz ever run he never mistrust 
ed that he had ever done anything onjust, or mean, 
or selfish. 

He loved to deplore Southern sins, but never 
looked to see if Northerners wuzn t committin jest 
as ojeus ones. 

I mean good, well-meanin* Christian men, not to 
say anything about our white slaves in the cities 
who make shirts for five cents apiece, and sign their 
contracts with their blood. 

Nor the old young children who are shut away 
from God s sunshine and air in Northern manufac 
tories and mines, and who are never free to be out 
under the beautiful sky till the sun has gone down 
or the grass is growin between it and their hollow, 
pitiful faces. 

Nor the droves of street ruffians and beggars 
whose souls and bodies suffer and hunger jest as 
much under the Northern Star as under the South 
ern Cross. 


No, I didn t mean any of these, but jest respect 
able church-goers like Deacon Henzy. 

And he, like so many others, wuz jest as blind to 
the idee as if he had been born with leather specta 
cles on and had wore em ever sence. 

It is a good thing for folks North or South to 
have their blinders tilted up a little now and then, 
and get a glimpse of daylight into their orbs. I had 
tilted up hisen, and wuzn t sorry a mite, not a mite. 
He had been a throwin stuns powerful, and he had 
got hit from one. 

And pretty soon, after settin demute for quite a 
spell, he got up and left for home, feelin and actin 
quite meek and humble-sperited for him. 

And I have hearn sence, and it comes straight to 
me Zekiel s mother told Miss Biddlecom s Liza, 
and Liza s sister-in-law told it to the Editor of the 
Augur ses wife s mother-in-law, and she told it to she 
that wuz Celestine Gowdey, and she that wuz Celes- 
tine told old Miss Minkley, and she told me it 
come straight that Deacon Henzy give Zekiel that 
very night a dollar bill, and from what I hear he has 
mellered up and used him first rate ever sence. 

Yes, that man wuz blind asa bat and blinder. He had 
been for years a hackin at the beams that riz up on the 
Southern brethren s eyes, and there he wuz a growin 
a hull crop of motes, and payin no attention to em. 

But selfishness and injustice grows up jjest as rank 
under Northern skies as Southern ones, and motes 
and beams flourish equally rank in both sections. 

And Christians North and Christians South have 
to tussle with that same old man the Bible speaks of, 
and anon or oftener they get throwed by him. 



Iwuz a strange thing to come most imegi* 
atly after Cousin John Richard s visit, and 
our almost excited interview with Deacon 
Henzy that Thomas J. should make the 
dicker he did make, and havin made it, to 
think that before a very long time had passed over 
Josiah Allen s bald head and mine (it wuz his head 
that wuz bald, not mine) that we two, Josiah Allen 
and me, should be started for where we wuz started 
for, to come back we knew not when. 

Yes, it happened curius, curius as anything I 
ever see that is, as some folks count curosity. As 
for me, I feel that our ways are ordered and our 
paths marked out ahead on us. 

You know when the country is new, somebody 
will go ahead through the forests and " blaze" the 
trees, so the settlers can foller on the path and not 
get lost. 

Wall, I always feel that we poor mortals are sot 
down here in a new country and a strange one, 
God knows and the wilderness stretches out round 


us on every side, and we are likely to get lost, dret- 
ful likely. 

But there is Somebody who goes ahead on us and 
marks out our pathway. He makes marks that His 
true children can see if they only look sharp enough, 
if they put on the specks of Faith and the blinders 
of Onworldliness, and look keen. And, above all, 
/each out their hands through the shadows, and 
keep close hold of the hand that guides em. 

And all along the way, though dark shadows 
i/iay be hoverin nigh, there is light, and glory, and 
peace, and pretty soon, bimeby they will come out 
into a large place, the fair open ground of Beauty 
and Desire, into all that they had hoped and longed 

But I am a eppisodin fearful, and to resoom. 

As I say, to the outside observer it seemed queer, 
queer as a dog, that after all our talk on the subject 
(and it seemed as if Providence had jest been a pre- 
parin us for what wuz to come), that I myself, 
Josiah Allen s wife, should go with my faithful pard- 
ner down South to stay for we knew not how long. 

Wall, the way on t wuz, our son Thomas Jefferson, 
who is doin a powerful big bizness, made a dicker 
with a man from the South for a big piece of land of 
hisen, a old plantation that used to be splendid and 
prosperous before the war, but wuz now run down. 
The name of the place for as near as I can make out 
they have a practice of namin them old plantations 
wuz Belle Fanchon, a sort of a French name, I wuz 

Wall, Thomas J., in the way of bizness, had got 
in his hands a summer hotef at a fashionable resort, 


and this man wanted to trade with him. He hadn t 
owned this plantation long it had come into his 
hands on a mortgage. 

Wall, Thomas Jefferson was offered good terms, 
and he made the trad 

And early in the fall Maggie, our son s wife, got 
kinder run down (she had a young child), and com- 
in from a sort of a consumptive family on her fa 
ther s side, the doctor ordered her to go South for 
the winter. 

He said, in her state of health (she had been weak 
as a cat for months) he wouldn t like to resk the cold 
of our Northern winter. 

Wall, of course when the doctor said this (Thomas 
Jefferson jest worships Maggie anyway) he thought 
at once of that old plantation of hisen, for he had 
made the bargain and took the place, a calculatin 
to sell it agin or rent it out. 

And the upshot of the matter wuz that along the 
last of October, when Nater seemed all rigged out 
in her holiday colors of red and orange to bid em 
good-bye, our son Thomas Jefferson and Maggie, 
and little Snow, and the baby boy that had come to 
em a few months before, all set sail for Belle Fan- 
chon, their plantation in Georgia. 

Yes, the old girl (Nater) seemed to be a standin* up 
on every hill-top a vvavin her gorgeous bandana 
handkerchief to em in good-bye ; and her blue 
gauze veil that floated from her forwerd looked 
some as if it had tears on it, it looked sort o dim 
like and hazy. 

Josiah and I went to the depot with em, and on 
our way home Nater didn t look very gay and fes- 


tive to us neither, though she wuz dressed up in 
pretty bright colors no, indeed ! 

Her gorgeous robes looked very misty and droop- 
in to me. I didn t weep, I wouldn t be so simple 
as that. The tears sort o run down my face some, 
but I wouldn t weep I wouldn t be so foolish when 
I knew that they wuz comin home in the spring, 
God willin . 

But the kisses they had all left on my face seemed 
to kinder draw me after em. And I felt that quite 
a number of things might happen between that time 
and the time when Nater and I would dress up agin 
to meet em she in her pale green mantilly, and I 
in my good old London brown, and we would both 
sally out to welcome em home. 

But I didn t say much, I jest kep calm and de- 
mute on the outside, and got my pardner jest as 
good a dinner as if my heart wuzn t a achin . 

I felt that I had to be serene anyway, for Josiah 
Allen was fearfully onstrung, and I knew that my 
influence (and vittles) wuz about the only things 
that could string him up agin. 

So I biled my potatoes and briied my steak with 
a almost marble brow, and got a good, a extra good 
dinner for him as I say, and the vittles seemed to 
comfort him considerable. 

Wall, time rolled along, as it has a way of 
doin . 

Good land ! no skein of yarn, no matter how 
smooth it is, and no matter how neat the swifts run, 
nor how fast the winder is nuthin of that kind can 
compare with the skein of life hung onto the swifts 
of time how fast they run, how the threads fly, how 


impossible it is to stop em or make em go slower, 
or faster, or anything ! 

They jest turn, and turn, and turn, and the day s 
reel offen the swifts, and the months and the 

Why, if you jest stopped still in your tracks and 
meditated on it, it would be enough to make you 
half crazy with the idee of that noiseless skein of 
life that Somebody somewhere is a windin Some 
body a settin back in the shadows out of sight, a 
payin no attention to you if you try to find out who 
it is, and why he is a windin , and how long he cal 
culates to keep the skein a goin , and what the yarn 
is a goin to be used for anyway, and why, and how, 
and what. 

No answer can you get, no matter how hard you 
may holler, or how out of breath you may get a try- 
in to run round and find out. 

You have got to jest set down and let it go on. 
And all the time you know the threads are a run- 
nin without stoppin , and a bein wound up by 
Somebody Somebody who is able to hold all the 
innumerable threads and not get em mixed up any, 
and knows the meanin* of every one of em, till 
bimeby the thread breaks, and the swifts stop. 

But I am a eppisodin . Wall, as I said, time rolled 
along till they had been down South most two 
months, and Thomas Jefferson wrote me that Mag 
gie seemed a good deal better, and he wuz encour 
aged by the change in her. 

When all of a sudden on a cold December evenin 
we got a letter from Maggie. Thomas Jefferson 
wuz took down sick, and the little girl. 


And there wuz Maggie, that little delicate thing, 
there alone amongst strangers in a strange land. 

And sez she, " Mother, what shall I do ?" 

That wuz about all she said in the way of com 
plaint or agony. She wuzn t one to pile up words, 
our daughter Maggie wuzn t. But that wuz 

" Mother, what shall I do ? what can I do ?" 

I illustrated the text, as artists say, while I wuz a 
readin . I see her pale and patient face a bendin 
over the cradle of the infant, and little Snow, and 
over my boy, my Thomas Jefferson, who laid on my 
heart in his childhood till his image wuz engraved 
there for all time, and for eternity too, / think. 

Wall, my mind wuz made up before I read the 
last words : " Your loving and sorrowful daughter, 

Yes, my mind wuz all made up firm as a rock ; 
and to give Josiah Allen credit, where credit is due, 
so wuz hisen his mind wuz made up too. 

He blowed his nose hard, and used his bandana 
on that, and his two eyes, and he said, " Them 
specks of hisen wuz jest a spilin his eyes." 

And I took up my gingham apron and wiped my 

My spectacles sort o* hurt my eyes, or sunthin , 
and my first words wuz, " How soon can we start ?" 

And Josiah s first words wuz, "I ll go and talk 
it over with Ury. I guess to-morrow or next day." 

Wall, Ury and Philury moved right in and took 
charge of things and helped us off, and in less than 
a week s time we wuz on our way down through the 
snow-drifts and icickles of the North to the green- 


ness and bloom of the orange-trees and magnolias. 
Down from the ice-bound rivers of the North to the 
merry, leapin rivulets of Belle Fanchon. Down 
from the cold peace and calm of our Jonesville 
farm, down to the beauty and bloom of our boy s 
home in the South land, the sorrow and pathos of 
his love-watched sick-bed, and our little Snow s 
white-faced gladness. 

We got there jest as the sun set. The country 
through which we had been a passin all day and for 
some time past wuz a hard and forbidden-lookin 
country sand, sand, sand, on every side on us, and 
piled up in sand-heaps, and stretched out white 
and smooth and dreary-lookin . 

Anon, or mebby oftener, we would go by some 
places sort o sot out with orange-trees, so I spozed, 
and some other green trees. And once in a while 
we would see a house set back from the highway 
with a piazza a runnin round it, and mebby two on 

And the children a playin* round em, and the 
children a wanderin along the railroad-track and 
hangin about the depots wuz more than half on em 
black as a coal. 

A contrast, I can tell you, to. our own little Jones- 
villians, with their freckled white faces and their 
tow locks a hangin over their forwerds. 

The hair of these little boys and girls wuzn t hair, 
it wuz wool, and it curled tight round their black 
forwerds. And their clothes wuz airy and unpre 
tentious in the extreme ; some on em had only jest 
enough on to hide their nakedness, and some on em 
hadn t enough. 



But our boy s place wuz beautiful. It looked like 
a picture of fairy land, as we see it bathed in the red 
western light. And though we felt that we might 
on closter inspection see some faults in it, we 
couldn t seem to see any then. 

It wuz a big house, sort o light grey in color, 
with a piazza a runnin clear round it, and up on the 
next story another piazza jest as big, reared up and 
runnin all round a verandy they called it. 

And both stories of the piazza wuz almost covered 
with beautiful blossomin vines, great big sweet 
roses, and lots of other fragrant posies that I didn t 
know the name of, but liked their looks first rate. 

There wuz a little rivulet a runnin along at one 
side of the front yard, and its pleasant gurglin sound 
seemed dretful sort o friendly and pleasant to us. 

The yard the lawn they called it wuz awful big. 
It wuz as big as from our house over to Deacon 
Gowdey s, and acrost over to Submit Danker ses, 
and I don t know but bigger, and all sorts of gay 
tropical plants wuz sot out in bunches on the green 
grass, and there wuz lots of big beautiful trees a 
standin alone and in clusters, and a wide path led up 
from the gate to the front door, bordered with beau 
tiful trees with shinin leaves, and there in the front 
door stood our daughter Maggie, white-faced, and 
gladder-lookin than I ever see her before. 

How she did kiss me and her Pa too ! She 
couldn t seem to tell us enough, how glad she wuz 
to see us and to have us there. 

And my boy, Thomas Jefferson, cried, he wuz so 
glad to see us. 

He didn t boohoo r pfht cut, but the tears come into 


his eyes fast he wuz very weak yet ; and I kissed 
them tears right often his cheeks, and his Pa kissed 
him too. Thomas Jefferson wuz very weak, he wuz 
a sick boy. And I tell you, seein him lay there so 
white and thin put us both in mind, his Pa and me, 
what Jonesville and the world would be to us if our 
boy had slipped out of it. 

We knew it would be like a playhouse with the 
lights all put out, and the best performer dumb and 

It would be like the world with the sun darkened, 
and the moon a refusin to give its light. We think 
enough of Thomas Jefferson yes, indeed. 

Oh, how glad little Snow wuz to see us ! And 
right here, while I am a talkin about her, I may as 
well tell sunthin about her, for it has got to be told. 

Snow is a beautiful child ; she becomes her name 
well, though she wuzn t named for real snow, but 
for her mother s sirname. I say it without a mite 
of partiality. Some grandparents are so partial to 
their own offsprings that it is fairly sickenin . 

But if this child wuz the born granddaughter of 
the Zar of Russia or a French surf, I should say 
jest what I do say, that she is a wonderful child, 
both in beauty and demeanor. 

She has got big violet blue eyes not jest the color 
of her Pa s, but jest the expression, soft and bright, 
and very deep-lookin . Their gaze is so deep that 
no line has ever been found to measure its deepness. 

When you meet their calm, direct look you see fur 
into em, and through em into another realm than 
ourn, a more beautiful and peaceful one, and one 
more riz up like, and inspired. 


I often used to wonder what the child wuz a look- 
in for, her eyes seemed to be a lookin so fur, fur 
away, and always as if in search of sunthin . I 
d ; ^* t know what it wuz, but I knew it wuzn t nuth- 
in light and triflin , from her looks. 

Some picture of holiness and beauty, and yet sort 
o* grand like, seemed before her rapt vision. But I 
couldn t see what it wuz, nor Josiah, nor her Pa, 
nor her Ma. 

Her hair is a light golden color, not yeller, nor 
yet orbun, but the color of the pure pale shiny gold 
you sometimes see in the western heavens when the 
sky is bright and glowin . 

It looked luminous, as if a light from some other 
land wuz a shinin on it onbeknown to us, and a 
lightin it up. You know how the sun sometimes, 
when it gets where we can t see it, will shine out 
onto some pink and white cloud, and look as if the 
color wuz almost alive so her hair looked round the 
rose pink and white of her pretty face. 

Her little sole mouth seemed always jest on the 
pint of speakin v some wonderful words of heavenly 
wisdom, the look on it wuz such, made in jest that 

Not that she ever give utterance to any remark of 
national importance or anything of that kind. 

But the expression wuz such you seemed to sort 
o look for it ; and I always knew she had it in her 
to talk like a minister if she only sot out to. 

And she did, in my opinion, make some very wise 
remarks, very. Josiah spoke to me about em sev 
eral times, and said she went ahead of any minister 
or politician he ever see in the deepness of her mind. 


And I told him he must be very careful and not 
show that he wuz partial to her on account of rela 
tionship. And I sez : 

" Look at me ; I never do. I always look at her 
with perfectly impartial and onprejudiced eyes, and 
therefore, therefore, Josiah, I can feel free to say 
that there never wuz such a child on earth before, 
and probable never will be agin ;" and sez I, "if J 
wuz partial to her at all I shouldn t dast to say that. * 

" Wall," sez he, "I dast to say what I am a 
minter ; and I know that for deep argument and 
hard horse sense she will go ahead of any man on 
earth, no matter where he is or who he is, President, 
or Bishop, or anything." 

Josiah Allen has excellent judgment in such 
things ; I feel that he has, and I knew he wuz simply 
statin the facts of the case. 

Ever, sence she wuz a very young infant, little 
Snow has made a practice of settin for hours and 
hours at a time a talkin to somebody that wuzn t 
there ; or, to state the truth plainer and truthfuller, 
somebody that we couldn t see. 

And she would smile up at em and seem to enjoy 
their company first rate before she could talk even, 
and when she begun to talk she would talk to em. 

And I used to wonder if there wuz angels en 
camped round about her and neighborin with her ; 
and I thought to myself I shouldn t wonder a mite 
if there wuz. 

Why, when she wuzn t more than several months 
old she would jest lay in her little crib, with her 
short golden hair makin* a sort of a halo round her 
white forwerd, and them wonderful heavenly eyes 


of hern lookin up, up fur off fur off and a smil- 
in at somebody or other, and a reachin out her lit 
tle hands to somebody, a wavin em a greetin or a 

Curius ! Who it wuz I d gin a dollar bill any time, 
and more too, to have ketched a glimpse of the 
Form she see, and hearn the whispers or the music 
that fell on her ears, too fine and pure for our more 
earthly senses. 

And most probable I never wuz any madder in my 
hull life than I wuz when old Dr. Cork, who wuz 
doctorin her Ma at that time, told me It wuz wind. 

Wind ! That is jest as much as he knew. But he 
wuz an old man, and I never laid it up aginst him, and 
I never said a word back, only jest this little triflin 
remark. I sez, sez I : 

The divine breath of Eden blowin* down into 
pure souls below, inspirin em and makin em talk 
with tongues and see visions and dream dreams, has 
always been called wind in the past, and I spoze 
it will be in the future, by fools." 

This little remark wuz everything that I said, and 
for all the world he looked and acted real meachin , 
and meached off with his saddle-bags. 

But now little Snow s golden hair wuz a shinin 
out from the piller of sickness, the big prophetic 
eyes wuz shot up, and the forwerd wuz pale and 

But when she heard my voice she opened her eyes 
and tried to lift up her little snowflake of a hand a 
little pretty gesture of greetin she always had and 
her smile wuz sweet with all the sweetness of the 
love she had for me. 



And she sez, as I took her into my arms gently 
and kissed her poor little pale face time and agin, 
she sez : 

" My own Grandma !" Now jest see the deep 
ness and pure wisdom of that remark ! 

Now, fools might say that because I wuz her 
father s stepmother that I wuzn t her own Grand 

But she see further down ; she see into the eternal 
truth of things. She knew that by all the divine 
rights of a pure unselfish love and the kinship of 
congenial souls, that her Pa wuz my own boy, and 
she wuz my own, heart of my heart, soul of my 

Yes, there it wuz, jest as she had always done, 
goin* right down into any deep subject or conun 
drum and gettin the right answer to it imegiatly 
and to once. 

Curius, hain t it ? and she not more n four and a 
half exceedingly curius and beautiful. 

And as I bent there over her, she put up her little 
thin hand to my cheek and touched it with a soft 
caress, then brushed my hair back with the lily soft 
fingers, and then touched my cheek agin lightly but 

It wuz as good as a kiss, or several of em, I don t 
know which I would ruther have, if I had been told 
to chuse between em at the pint of the bayonet- 
some kisses, or these caressin little fingers on my 

They wuz both sweet as sweet could be, and ten 
der and lovin . And she wuz " my own sweet little 
baby," as I told her morn n a dozen times. 


I loved her and she loved me ; and when you have 
said that you have said a good deal ; you have said 
about all there is to say. 

And I felt that I wuz glad enough that I could 
take holt and help take care on her, and win her back 
to health and strength agin, if it lay in human power. 

There wuz a tall, handsome girl in the room when 
I went in, and I spozed, from her ladylike mean, 
that she wuz one of the neighbors, and she wuz 
there a neighborin with my daughter Maggie, for 
she seemed to be a doin everything she could to 

And I spozed, and kep on a spozin for more than 
a hour, that she wuz a neighborin , till after she went 
out of the room for a few minutes, Maggie said she 
wuz a young colored girl, a " quadroon" she called 
her, that she had hired to help take care of Snow. 

Sez I in deep amaze : 

" That girl colored ?" 
Yes," sez Maggie. 

4< Wall," sez I, " she is handsomer than any girl I 
ever sot eyes on that wuz oncolored." 

" Yes," sez Maggie, " Genny is a beautiful girl, 
and jest as good as she is pretty." 

" Wall," sez I, " that is sayin a good deal." 

Maggie told me her name was Genieve, but they 
called her Genny. 

Wall, my daughter Maggie had spells all that 
evenin and the next day of comin and puttin her 
arms round me, and sort o leanin up aginst me, 
as if she wuz so glad to lean up aginst sunthin that 
wouldn t break down under her head. I see she 
had been dretful skairt and nervous about Thomas 


Jefferson and Snow, and I don t blame her, for they 
wuz very sick children, very. And there she (in 
her own enjoyment of poor health too) had had all 
the care and responsibility on her own self. 

But I tell you she seemed real contented when 
her head sort o rested and lay up aginst my shoul 
der, or breast-bone, or arm, or wherever it happened 
to lay. 

And she sez, and kep a sayin , with a voice that 
come from her heart, I knew : 

" Oh, Mother ! how glad, how thankful I am you 
have come !" 

And Thomas Jefferson felt jest so, only more so. 
He would reach out his weak white hand towards 
me, and I would take it in both of my warm strong 
ones, and then he would shet up his eyes and look real 
peaceful, as if he wuz safe and could rest. 

And he sez more than once, " Mother, I am goin 
to get well now you have come." 

And I sez, cheerful and chirk as could be, " Of 
course you be." 

I d say it, happy actin as could be on the outside, 
but on the inside my heart kep a sinkin several 
inches, for he looked dretful sick, dretful. 

Maggie, the weak one when they left Jonesville, 
wuz the strongest one now except the young babe, 
that wuz flourishin and as rosy as the roses that 
grew round the balcony where he used to lay in his 
little crib durin the hot days. 

As soon as I got rested enough I took sights of 
comfort a walkin round the grounds and a smellin 
the sweet breath of the posies on every side of 


And watchin the gay birds a flutterin back and 
forth like big livin blossoms on wing. 

And a listenin to the song of the little rivulet as it 
wound its way round amongst the pretty shrubs and 
flowers, as if it wtiz loath to leave so beautiful a place. 

Yes, I see that our son Thomas Jefferson had done 
well to make the dicker he had made and get this 
place for his own. 

There wuz several little hills or rises of ground 
on the lawn, and you could see from them the roofs 
and chimneys of two little villages a layin on each 
side of Belle Fanchon, and back of the house some 
distance riz up a low mountain, with trees a growin 
up clear to the top. It wuz over that mountain that 
we used to see the sun come up (when we did see it ; 
there wuzn t many of us that see that act of hisen, 
but it paid us when we did paid us well). 

First, there would be a faint pink tinge behind the 
tall green branches of the trees, then golden rays 
would shoot up like a flight of gold arrows out over 
the tree-tops, and then pink and yellow and pinkish 
white big fleecy clouds of light would roll up and 
tinge the hull east, and then the sun would slowly 
come in sight, and the world would be lit up agin. 

Down the western side of Belle Fanchon stretched 
the fair country for a long ways trees and green 
fields, and anon, or oftener, a handsome house, and 
fur off the silvery glimpse of a river, where I spoze 
our little rivulet wuz a hurryin away to jine in with 
it and journey to the sea. 

Yes, it wuz a fair seen, a fair seen. I never see a 
prettier place than Belle Fanchon, and don t expect 
to agin. 



The way it come to be named Belle Fanchon wuz 
as follows Maggie told me about it the very next 
day after I arrived and got there : 

She said the man that used to own it had one lit 
tle girl, the very apple of his eye, who wuz killed 
by poison give to her by a slave woman, out of re- 


venge for her own child bein sold away from her. 
But it wuz done by the overseer ; her Pa wuz inno 
cent as a babe, but his heart was broke all the same. 
The little girl s name wuz Fannie named after 
the girlish wife he lost at her birth. And he bein 
a foreigner, so they say, he called her all sgrts of 


pretty names in different languages, but most of all 
he called her Belle Fanchon. 

And when the little girl died in this terrible way, 
though he had a housefull of boys her half brothers 
yet they said her Pa s head wuz always bowed in 
grief after that. He jest shet himself up in the big 
old house, or wandered through the shadowy gar 
dens, a dreamin of the little one he had loved and 


And he give her name to the place, and clung to 
it as long as he stayed there for her sake. 

It is a kind of a pretty name, I thought when I 
first heard it, and I think so still. 

The little girl lay buried on a low hill at one side of 
the grounds, amongst some evergreens, and tall rose 
bushes clasping round the little white cross over her 
pretty head, and the rivulet made a bend here and 
lay round one side of the hill where the little grave 
wuz, like a livin , lovin arm claspin it round to 
keep it safe. And its song wuz dretful low and 
sweet and sort o sad too, as it swept along here 
through the green shadows and then out into the 
sunshine agin. 

It wuz a place where the little girl used to 
play and think a sight of, so they said. And it 
wuz spozed that her Pa meant to be laid by her 

But the fortunes of war swept him out of the 
beautiful old place and his shadowy, peaceful gar 
den, him and his boys too, and they fill soldiers 
graves in the places where the fortune of war took 
em, and her Pa couldn t get back to his little girl. 
And Belle Fanchon slept on alone under the whis- 


perin pines slept on in sunlight and moonlight, in 
peace and war. 

Sleepin jest as sweet at one time as the other 
when the roar of cannon swept along through the 
pines that wuz above her, as when the birds song 
made music in their rustlin tops. 

And jest as calm and onafraid as if her kindred lay 
by her side. 

Though it seemed kinder pitiful to me, when I 
looked at the small white headstone and thought 
how the darlin of the household, who had been so 
tenderly loved and protected, should lay there all 
alone under dark skies and tempests. 

Nobody nigh her, poor little thing ! and an alien 
people ownin the very land where her grave wuz 

Poor little creeter ! But that is how the place 
come to be named. 

Snow loved to play there in that corner when she 
wuz well ; she seemed to like it as well as the little 
one that used to play there. 

^As for Boy, he wuz too young to know what he 
did want or what he didn t. 

He used to spend a good deal of his time a layin 
in his little cradle out in the veranda, and Genieve 
used to set there by him when she wuzn t needed in 
the sick-rooms. 

And I declare for it if it wuzn t a picture worth 
lookin at, after comin , as I had, from the bareness 
and icy whiteness of a Jonesville winter and the 
prim humblyness of most of the Jonesville females, 
especially when they wuz arrayed in their woollen 


shawls and grey hoods and mittens. To be jest 
transplanted from scenes like them, and such females 
a shinin out from a background of icickles and bare 
apple-trees and snow-drifts. 

And then to shet your eyes in Jonesville, as it 
were, and open em on a balcony all wreathed round 
with clamberin roses, and set up aginst a back 
ground of orange-trees hangin full of oranges and 
orange blossoms too, and in front of that balcony to 
see a little white crib with some soft lace over the 
top, and a perfectly beautiful male child a layin on 
it, and by the side of him a girl with a slender figure 
as graceful as any of the tall white flowers that wuz 
a swayin and bendin* beneath the balmy South 
wind, under the warm blue sky. 

A face of a fair oval, with full, sweet lips, and an 
expression heavenly sweet and yet sort o sad in it, 
and in the big dark eyes. 

They wuz as beautiful eyes as I ever had seen, and 
I have seen some dretful pretty eyes in my time, but 
none more beautiful than these. 

And there wuz a look into em as if she had been 
a studyin on things for some time that wuz sort o 
pitiful and kind o strange. 

As if she had been a tryin to get the answer to 
some momentous question and deep conundrum, 
and hadn t got it yet, and didn t seem to know when 
she would get it. 

Dretful sad eyes, and yet sort o prophetic and 
hopeful eyes too, once in a while. 

Them eyes fairly drawed my attention offen the 
young babe, and I found that I wuz, in spite of my- 


self, a payin more attention to the nurse than I did 
to the child, though he is a beautiful boy, beautiful 
and very forward. 

Wall, I entered into conversation with Genieve, 
and I found that she had lived in that neighborhood 
ever sence she wuz a small child, her mother havin 
owned a small place not fur from Belle Fanchon. 

Her mother had gone out nursin the sick, and 
Genieve had learnt the trade of her ; and then she 
had, poor child, plenty of time to practice it in her 
own home, for her mother wuz sick a long time, and 
sence her death Genieve had gone out to take care 
of little children and sick people, and she still lived 
on at the little cottage where her mother died, an 
old colored woman and her boy livin with her. 

There wuz a few acres of land round the cottage 
that had fruit trees and berry bushes and vines on it, 
and a good garden. And the sale of the fruit and 
berries and Genieve s earnin s give em all a good 
livin . 

Old Mammy and Cato the boy took care of the 
garden, with an occasional day s work hired, when 
horses wuz required. 

The fruit and vegetables Cato carried to a neigh- 
borin plantation, where they wuz carried away to 
market with the farmer s own big loads. 

And there Genieve had lived, and lived still, a 
goin out deeply respected, and at seventy-five cents 
to a dollar a day. 

I felt dretfully interested in her from the very 
first ; and though it is hitchin several wagons be 
fore the horses heads, I may as well tell sunthin of 
her mother s history now as to keep it along till 


bimeby. As long as it has got to be told I may as 
well tell it now as any time, as fur as 1 know. 

Maggie told it to me, and it wuz told to her by a 
woman that knew what she wuz a sayin . 

Genieve s mother wuz a very beautiful quadroon 
who had been brought up well by an indulgent and 
good-natured mistress, and a religious one too. 
There are as good wimmen in the South as in the 
North, and men too. She had educated Madeline 
and made a sort of a companion of her. She wuz 
rich, she could do as she wuz a mind to ; and bein 
a widder, she had no one to say to her " Why do 
ye do so?" 

So she had brought up Madeline as a sort of a 
pet, and thought her eyes of her. 

Wall, this mistress had some rich and high-born 
French relatives, and one of em a young man 
come over here on a visit, and fell in love the first 
thing with Madeline, the beautiful quadroon com 
panion of his aunt. 

And she loved him so well that in the end her 
love wuz stronger than the principles of religion 
that the old lady had instilled into her, for she ran 
away with this Monseur De Chasseny, and, forget- 
tin its wickedness, they lived an ideally happy life 
for years in a shootin lodge of hisen in the heart of 
a fragrant pine forest in South Carolina. They 
lived this happy life till his father found him, and 
by means of family pride, and ambition, and the love 
of keepin his own word and his father s pledges, 
he got him to leave his idyllic life and go back to 
the duties of his rank and his family in the old coun- 



He had pledged his word to marry a rich heiress, 
and great trouble to both sides of their noble fami 
lies wuz goin to take place and ensue if he did not 
go, and his own family wuz goin to be disgraced and 
dishonored if he did not keep his word. 

Wall, men are often led to do things that at first 
they shrink from in mortal horror yes, and wim- 
men are too. 

De Chasseny vowed that he would not leave the 
woman he loved and the little girl they both wor 
shipped, not for any reason not for father, nor 
pride, nor for honor. 

But he did. He left her, with plenty of money 
though, as it wuz spozed, and a broken heart, a 
ruined life, and a hoard of bitter-sweet and agoniz- 
in memories to haunt her for the rest of her days. 

She wuz a lovin -hearted woman bound up in the 
man she loved the man she had forsaken honor and 
peace of mind for. 

There wuz no marriage there could be none be 
tween a white man and a woman with any colored 
blood in her veins. 

So in the eyes of the world and the law he wuz 
not guilty when he left her and married a pure 
young girl. 

Whether he wuz found guilty at that other bar 
where the naked souls of men and wimmen stand to 
be judged, I don t spoze his rich and titled friends 
ever thought to ask themselves. 

Anyway, he left Madeline and little Genieve for 
so he had named the child after an old friend of 
his he left them and sailed off for France and the 
new life to be lived out in the eyes of the world, 


where Happiness and gratified Ambition seemed to 
carry the torches to light him on his way. 

Whether there wuz any other attendants who 
waited on him, a holdin up dim-burnin lamps to 
light him as he walked down Memory s aisles, I 
don t know, but I should dare presume to say there 

I should presume to say that in the still night 
hours, when the palace lights burned low and the 
garlands and the feast robes put away for a spell, 
and his fair young wife wuz sleepin peacefully at 
his side I should presume to say that these black- 
robed attendants, that are used to lightin* folks down 
dark pathways, led him back to love first, true, 
sweet love and Madeline, and that under their 
cold, onsympathizin eyes he stayed there for some 

As for Madeline, she wuz stunned and almost 
senseless by the blow, and wuz for a long time. 
Then she had a long sickness, and when she come to 
herself she seemed to be ponderin some deep 
thought all to herself. 

The nurse who was watchin with her testified 
that she dropped to sleep one mornin before day 
light, and when she woke up her patient wuz gone, 
and the child. 

She had some money that her old mistress had 
give her from time to time, and that she had never 
had to use ; that wuz taken, with some valuable 
jewelry too that that kind old friend had give her 
for she had loved to set off her favorite s dark 
beauty with the light of precious stones all these 
wuz taken ; but every article that Monseur De 


Chasseny had give her wuz left. And all the money 
that he left for her not a penny wuz ever called for. 
She disappeared as if she had never been ; lawyers 
and detectives, hired, it wuz spozed, by De Chas 
seny, could find no trace of her. 

There wuz a good, fatherly old missionary in the 
little settlement near by who might perhaps have 
given some information if he had wanted to ; but 
they never thought of askin him, and they would 
have been no wiser if they had, most probable. 

But about this time a woman in deep mournin*, 
with a beautiful young child, come to the little ham 
let near Belle Fanchon. 

She said she wuz a colored woman, though no one 
would have believed it. 

The good priest in charge of the Mission Father 
Gasperin he seemed to know sunthin about her ; 
he had a brother who wuz a priest in South Caro 
lina. He got her employment as a nurse after her 
health improved a little. 

She bought a little cottage and lived greatly re 
spected by all classes, black and white, and nursed 
em both to the best of her abilities some for nuth- 
in and some at about a dollar a day. 

But her earnest sympathies, her heartfelt affection 
wuz with the black race. She worked for their 
good and advancement in every way with a zeal 
that looked almost as if she wuz tryin to atone for 
some awful mistake in the past as if she wuz tryin 
to earn forgiveness for forsakin her mother s race 
for the white people, who wuz always faithless to 
her race, only when selfishness guided them who 
would take the service of their whole life and 


strength, as if it belonged to em ; who would take 
them up as a plaything to divert an hour s leisure, 
and then throw the worthless thing down agin. 

Her whole heart wuz bent upon the good of her 
mother s people. She worked constantly for their 
advancement and regeneration. She bore their in 
tolerable burdens for em, she agonized under their 
unexampled wrongs. She exhorted em to become 
Christians, to study, to learn to guide themselves 
aright ; she besought em to elevate themselves by 
all means in their power. 

She became a very earnest Christian ; she went 
about doin good ; she studied her Bible much. 
The Book that in her bright days of happiness she 
had slighted became to her now the lamp of her 

Most of all did this heart-broken soul, who had 
bid good-bye to all earthly happiness, love the 
weird prophecies of St. John the Evangelist. 

She loved to read of the Beloved City, and the 
sights that he saw, to her become realities. She 
said she saw visions in the night as she looked up 
from dyin faces into the high heavens she foretold 
events. Her prophetic sayin s became almost as 
inspired revelations to them about her. 

She said she heard voices talkin to her out of the 
skies and the darkness, and I don t know but she 
did I don t feel like disputin it either way ; besides, 
I wuzn t there. 

But as I wuz a sayin , from what I wuz told, the 
little girl, Genieve, inheritin as she did her moth 
er s imaginative nature and her father s bright mind 
and wit, and contemplatin her mother s daily life of 


d.ity and self-sacrifice, and bein brought up as she 
wuz under the very eaves of the New Jerusalem her 
mother wuz always readin about, it is no wonder 
that she grew up like a posy that while its roots 
are in the earth its tall flowers open and wave in the 
air of Eden. 

The other world, the land unseen but near, be 
came more of a reality to her than this. " The 
voices" her mother said she heard was to her real 
and true as the voice of good Father Gasperin, who 
preached in the little chapel every month. 

The future of her mother s race wuz to her plain 
and distinct, lit with light fallin from the new 
heavens on the new earth that she felt awaited her 

The inspired prophecies to her pointed to their 
redemption and the upbuilding of a New Republic, 
where this warm-hearted, emotional, beauty lovin 
race should come to their own, and, civilized and 
enlightened, become a great people, a nation truly 
brought out of great tribulations. 

She grew up unlike any other girl, more beautiful 
than any other so said every one who saw her. A 
mind different from any other impractical perhaps, 
but prophetic, impassioned, delicate, sorrowful, in 

When she became old enough she followed her 
mother s callin of nursin the sick, and it seemed 
indeed as if her slight hands held the gift of healin 
in them, so successful wuz she. 

Guarded by her mother as daintily as if she wuz 
the daughter of a queen, she grew up to womanhood 
as innocent as Eve wuz when the garden wuz new. 


She turned away almost in disgust from the atten 
tion of young men, white or colored. 

But about a year before I went to Belle Fanchon 
she had met her king. And to her, truly, Victor 
wuz a crowned monarch. And the love that sprung 
up in both their hearts the moment they looked in 
each other s eyes wuz as high and pure and ideal an 
attachment as wuz ever felt by man or woman. 

Victor wuz the son of a white man and a colored 
woman, but he showed the trace of his mother s 
ancestry as little as did Genieve. 

His mother wuz a handsome mulatto woman, the 
nurse and constant attendant of the wife of Col. 
Seybert, whose handsome place, Seybert Court, 
could jest be seen from the veranda of Belle Fan 

Col. Seybert owned this plantation, but he had 
been abroad with his family many years, and in the 
States further South, where he also owned property. 

He had come back to Seybert Court only a few 
months before Thomas J. bought Belle Fanchon. 

Mrs. Seybert wuz a good woman, and in a long 
illness she had soon after her marriage she had been 
nursed so faithfully by Phyllis, Victor s mother, that 
she had become greatly attached to her ; and Phyllis 
and her only child, Victor, had attended the Colonel 
and his wife in all their wanderings. Indeed, Mrs. 
Seybert often said and felt, Heaven knows, that she 
could not live if Phyllis left her. 

And Victor wuz his mother s idol, and to be near 
her and give her comfort wuz one of the reasons 
why he endured his hard life with Col. Seybert. 

For his master wuz not a good man. He wuz 


hard, haughty, implacable. He wuz attached to 
Victor much as a manufacturer would be to an extra 
good piece of machinery by which his gains wuz 

Victor wuz an exceptionally good servant ; he 
watched over his employer s interests, he wuz hon 
est amongst a retinue of dishonest ones. He saved 
his employer s money when many of his feller-ser 
vants seemed to love to throw it away. His keen 
intelligence and native loyalty and honesty found 
many ways of advancin his master s interests, and 
he helped him in so many ways that Col. Seybert 
had come to consider his services invaluable to him. 

Still, and perhaps he thought it wuz the best way 
to make Victor feel his place and not consider him 
self of more consequence than he wuz and it wuzn t 
in the nater of Col. Seybert to be anything but 
mean, mean as pusley, and meaner 

Anyway, he treated Victor with extreme inso 
lence, and cruelty, and brutality. Mebby he thought 
that if he didn t " hold the lines tight," as he called 
it, Victor might make disagreeable demands upon 
his purse, or his time, or in some way seek for a 
just recognition of his services. 

Col. Seybert, too, drank heavily, which might 
perhaps be some excuse for his brutality, but made 
it no easier for Victor to endure. 

At such times Col. Seybert wuz wont to address 
Victor as " his noble brother," and order his " noble 
brother" to take off his boots, or put them on, or 
carry him upstairs, or perform still more menial ser 
vices for him, he swearin at him roundly all the 
time, and mixin his oaths with whatever vile and 


contemptible epithets he could think of and he 
could think of a good many. 

And perhaps it did not make it easier for Victor 
to obey him that he told the truth in his drunken 
babble. Victor wuz his brother, and they two wuz 
the only descendants of the gallant old Gen. Sey- 
bert, the handsomest, the wittiest, the bravest and 
the most courtly man of his day. 

He went down to the grave the owner of many 
hundred slaves, the husband of a fair young bride, 
and the father of two children, one the only son of 
his pretty Northern bride, the other the son of his 
mother s maid. 

And what made matters still more complicated 
and hard to understand, to this unowned, despised 
son had descended all the bright wit and philosophi 
cal mind, and suave, gentle, courteous manners of 
this fine gentleman Gen. Seybert ; and to the son 
and legal heir of all his wealth, not a bit of his 
father s sense, bright mind, and good manners. 

One of his maternal great-uncles had been a rich, 
new-made man of low tastes and swaggerin , ag 
gressive manners. It wuz a sad thing that these 
inherited traits and tastes should just bound over 
one gentlemanly generation and swoop down upon 
the downy, lace-festooned cradle of this only son and 
heir but they did. 

All the nobility of mind, the grace, the kindly 
consideration for others, and the manly beauty, all 
fell as a dower to the little lonely baby smuggled 
away like an accursed thing, in his maternal grand 
mother s little whitewashed cabin. 

To the young heir, Reginald, fell some hundreds 


of thousands of dollars, two or three plantations, 
and an honored name and place in society, the tastes 
of a pot-boy, the mind and habits of a clown, the 
swaggerin , boastin cruelty of an American Nero. 

Col. Seybert drove and swore, and threatened his 
negroes as his great- uncle Wiggins drove the white 
operatives in his big Northern factory, kept them at 
starvation wages, and piled up his money-bags over 
the prostrate forms of gaunt, overworked men and 
women, and old young children, who earned his 
money out of their own hopeless youth ; with one 
hand dropped gold into his coffers, and with the 
other dug shallow graves that they filled too s>on. 

Northern cupidity and avarice, Southern avarice 
and cupidity, equally ugly in God s sight, so we 

It wuz indeed strange that to Reginald should 
descend all the great-uncle s traits and none of his 
father s, only the passionate impulses that marred 
an otherwise almost faultless character ; and to 
Victor, the cast-off, ignored son, should descend all 
the courtly graces inherited from a long line of illus 
trious ancestors, and all the brilliant qualities of 
mind too that made old Gen. Seybert s name re 
spected and admired wherever known. 

His sin in regard to Victor s mother wuz a sin 
directly traceable to the influence of Slavery. As 
the deeds a man commits when in liquor can be 
followed back to that source, so could this cryin sin 
be traced directly back to the Slave regime. 

It wuz but one berry off of the poisonous Upas- 
tree of Slavery that gloomily shadowed the beauti 
ful South land, and darkens it yet, Heaven knows. 


The top of this tree may have been lowered a lit 
tle by the burnin fires of war, but the deep roots 
remain ; and as time and a false sense of security 
relaxes the watch kept over it, the poison shoots 
spring up and the land is plagued by its thorny 
branches, its impassable, thick undergrowth. 

The tree may be felled to the earth before it 
springs up agin with a more dangerous, vigorous 
growth and destroys the hull nation. 

So Cousin John Richard said ; but I don t know 
whether it will or not, and Josiah don t. 

But I am a eppisodin , and to resoom and con 
tinue on. 

Reginald Seybert wuz tolerably good-lookin in an 
aggressive, florid style, and he had plenty of bold 
ness and wealth. And some, or all of these quali 
ties, made it possible ior him to marry a good wom 
an of an impoverished but aristocratic Southern 

The marriage wuz a sudden one he did not give 
the young lady time to change her mind. He met 
her at a fashionable watering-place where they wuz 
both strangers, and, as I said, he give her no time 
to repent her choice. 

After the honeymoon trip and her husband 
brought her to his home, she heard many strange 
things she had been kept in ignorance of amongst 
them this pitiful story of Victor and his mother 
and being what she wuz, a good, tender-hearted 
woman, with high ideals and pure and charitable im 
pulses perhaps it wuz this that made her so good 
to Victor s mother, so thoughtful and considerate 
of him, and that made her, during her husband s 


long absences on his wild sprees, give him every 
benefit of teachers and opportunity to study. 

And Victor almost worshipped his gentle mis 
tress, his unhappy mistress, for it could not be 
otherwise, that after she knew him well, her feelin s 
for her husband could hardly have been stronger 
than pity. Perhaps after a time aversion and dis 
gust crept in, and as she had no children or brothers 
of her own, she grew strongly attached to Phyllis 
and to Victor, the only relative for so this strange 
woman called him in her thoughts the only relative 
near her who wuz kind to her. 

For as her beauty faded, worn away by the an 
guished, feverish beatings of a sad heart, Col. Sey- 
bert grew cruel and brutal to her also. It was not 
in his nature to be kind to anything, or to value any 
thing that did not minister to his selfishness. He 
lived only for the gratification of his appetites and 
his ambition. 

He prized Victor, as we said, as a manufacturer 
would prize an extra good loom, on which valuable 
cloth might be woven, and which would bear any 
amount of extra pressure on occasion. 

Victor s loyal affection and gratitude to his mis 
tress, and his determination to shield her all he could 
from her husband s brutality, and his love for his 
mother, made him conceal from them all he could 
the fiendish cruelties his master sometimes inflicted 
upon him. 

Old Gen. Seybert had been noted all his brilliant 
life for his tender consideration and thoughtful 
courtesy towards women, and his desire to shield 
them from all possible annoyance. 


His son Victor had this trait also, added to the 
warm-hearted gratitude of his mother s race towards 
one who befriends them. 

Many a time did he carry a scarred back and a 


smilin face into the presence of his mother and 

Many a time did he voluntarily absent himself 
from them for days, or until the bruises had healed 
that some too skilfully aimed missile had inflicted 
upon him. 

But soon after he came to Belle Fanchon, and 


after he had met and loved Genieve, Col. Seybert s 
treatment became so unendurable that Victor begged 
of his mother to go away with him, tellin her he 
could now earn a good livin for her ; and he had 
dreams, hardly formulated to himself then, of the 
future of his mother s race. They lay in his heart 
as seeds lie in the dark ground, waitin for the time 
to spring up they were germinatin , waitin for the 
dawn to waken them to rich luxuriance. 

But his mother felt that she could not leave her 
kind mistress in her lonely troubles, and she entreat 
ed him prayerfully that he would not leave her, 
"and she could not go away and leave Miss Alice 
with that tyrant and murderer" for so she called 
Col. Seybert in her wrath. 

And his mistress s anguished entreaties that he 
would not leave her, for she felt that she had but a 
little time to live, her health was failin all the time 

" And the blessed lamb would die without us any 
way," his mother would say to Victor 

And all these arguments added to his loyal desire 
to befriend this gentle mistress who had educated 
him and done for him all she could have done for 
son or brother all these arguments caused him to 
stay on. 

But after comin to Seybert Court, Victor had 
given Col. Seybert another opportunity to empty 
the vials of his wrath upon him. 

Victor had a bosom friend, a young man in about 
the same circumstances that he wuz only this friend, 
Felix Ward, had lived with a kind master and mis 
tress durin his childhood and early youth. 

His father and mother wuz both dead ; his father 


bein killed in the war, and his mother soon follow- 
in him. 

He wuz an intelligent negro, with no white blood 
in his veins, so far as, he knew. Felix, for so he had 
been named when he looked like a tiny black doll, 
by his young mistress, to whom the world looked 
so happy and prosperous that everything assumed a 
roseate hue to her. 

Her faithful servant, his mother, brought the lit 
tle image in ebony to her room to show it to her, jest 
after she had read the letter from the man she loved 
askin her to be his wife. 

She wuz happy ; the world looked bright and 
prosperous to her. She gave the little pickaninny 
this name for a good omen Felix : happy, prosper 

But alas ! though the pretty young mistress pros 
pered well in her love and her life while it lasted, 
the poor little baby she had named had better have 
been called Infelix, so infelicitous had been his life 
or, that is, the latter part of it. 

For awhile, while he wuz quite young, it seemed 
as if his name would stand him in good stead and 
bring good fortune with it. For being owned till 
her death by this same gentle young mistress and 
her husband, both, like so many Southerners, so 
much better than the system they represented, they 
helped him, seein his brightness and intelligence, to 
an education, and afterwards through their influence 
he wuz placed at Hampton School, and at their 
death, which occurred very suddenly in a scourge 
of yeller fever, they left him a little money. 

At Hampton School he got a good education, and 


learned the carpenter s trade. And it wuz at Seybert 
Court, which wuz bein repaired, and he wuz one of 
the workmen, that Victor and he become such close 

Victor had come on to superintend some of the 
work that wuz bein done there to fit the place for 
the reception of his master s family, who wuz at 
that time in New Orleans. And these two young 
men wuz together several months and become close 
friends. They wuz related on their mother s side, 
and they wuz joined together in that closer, subtler 
relationship of kindred tastes, feelings, and aspira 

He finally bought a little carpenter s shop and 
settled down to work at his trade in the little ham 
let of Eden Centre, where he soon after married a 
pretty mulatto girl, the particular friend of Ge- 

With the remains of the money his mistress had left 
him he bought a little cottage or, that is, this 
money partly paid for it, and he thought that with 
his good health and good trade he could soon finish 
up the payment and own his own home. 

It wuz a pretty cottage, but fallen into disorder 
and ruinous looks, through poor tenants ; but his 
skilful hands and his labor of love soon made it over 
into a perfect gem of a cottage. 

And there he and his pretty young wife Hester 
had spent two most happy years, when Col. Seybert 
come into the neighborhood to live, and his roamin 
fancy soon singled out Hester for a victim. 

She had been lady s maid in a wealthy, refined 
family, and her ladylike manners and pretty ways 


wuz as attractive as her face. She loved her hus 
band, and wuz constant to him with all the fidelity 
of a lovin woman s heart, and Col. Seybert she de 
tested with all the force of her nature ; but CoL 
Seybert wuz not one to give way to such a slight 
obstacle as a lawful husband. 

He thought if Felix wuz out of the way the course 
of his untrue love would run comparatively smooth. 
Why, it seemed to him to be the height of absurdity 
that a " nigger" should stand in the way of his 

Why, it wuz aginst all the traditions of his race 
and the entire Southern Aristocracy that so slight 
things as a husband s honor and wife s loyalty should 
dare oppose the lawless passions of a white gentle 

Of course, so reasoned CoL Seybert ; the war had 
made a difference in terms and enactments, but that 
wuz about all. The white race wuz still uncon- 
quered in their passion and their arrogance, and the 
black race wuz still under their feet ; he could testify 
to the truth of this by his own lawless life full of 
deeds of unbridled license and cruelty. 

So, wantin Victor out of the way, and bein ex 
ceedingly wroth aginst him, it wuz easy to persuade 
certain ignorant poor whites, and the dispensers of 
what they called law, that Felix wuz altogether too 
successful for a nigger. 

He owned a horse, too, an almost capital offence 
in some parts of the South. 

He had worked overhours to buy this pet animal 
for Hester s use as well as his own. Many a hun 
dred hard hours labor, when he wuz already tired 


out, had he given for the purchase money of this lit 
tle animal. 

It wuz a pretty, cream-colored creeter, so gentle 
that it would come up to the palin and eat little bits 
that Hester would carry out to it after every meal, 
with little Ned toddlin along by her side ; and it 
wuz one of the baby boy s choicest rewards for good 
behavior to be lifted up by the side of the kind- 
facea creeter and pat the glossy skin with his little 
fat hands. 

This horse seemed to Felix and Hester to be en 
dowed with an almost human intelligence, and come 
next to little Ned, their only child, in their hearts. 

And Hester had herself taken in work and helped 
to pay for the plain buggy in which she rode out 
with her boy, and carried Felix to and from his 
work when he wuz employed some distance from 
his home. 

But no matter how honestly he had earned this 
added comfort, no matter how hard they had both 
worked for it and how they enjoyed it 

" It wuz puttin on too much damned style for a 
nigger !" 

This wuz Col. Seybert s decree, echoed by many 
a low, brutal, envious mind about him, encased in 
black and white bodies. 

And one mornin , when Hester went out in the 
bright May sunshine to carry Posy its mornin bit 
of food from the breakfast-table, with little Ned fol- 
lowin behind with his bit of sugar for it, the pretty 
creeter had jest enough strength to drag itself up 
to its mistress and fix its pitiful eyes on her in help 
less appeal, and dropped dead at her feet. 



They found the remains of a poisoned cake in the 
pasture, and on the fence wuz pinned a placard bear- 
in the inscription 


11 No damned niggers can ride wile wit foaks wak 
afut so good buy an* take warnin ." 

They did not try to keep a horse after this. Felix 
took his long mornin and evenin* walks with a sore, 


indignant heart that dragged down his tired limbs 
still more. 

And Hester wiped away the tears of little Ned, 
and tried to explain to his bewildered mind why his 
pretty favorite could not come up to him when he 
called it so long and patiently, holdin out the tempt- 
in lump of sugar that had always hastened its fleet 

And she wiped away her own tears, and tried to 
find poor comfort in the thought that so many wuz 
worse off than herself. 

She had Felix and Ned left, and her pretty 

But in the little black settlement of Cedar Hill, 
not fur away, where her mother s relations lived, 
destitution wuz reignin . 

For on one pretext or another their crops that 
they worked so hard for wuz taken from them. The 
most infamous laws wuz made whereby the white 
man could take the black man s earnings. 

The negro had the name of bein a freedman, but 
in reality he wuz a worse slave than ever, for in the 
old times he had but one master who did in most 
cases take tolerable care of him, for selfishness sake, 
if no other, and protected him from the selfishness of 
other people. 

But now every one who could take advantage of 
his ignorance of law did so, and on one pretext or 
another robbed him of his hard-earned savings. 

And it wuz not considered lawful and right by 
these higher powers for a nigger to get much prop 
erty. It wuz looked upon as an insult to the supe 
rior race about him who had nuthin , and it wuz 


considered dangerous to the old-established law of 
Might over Right. 

It wuz a dangerous precedent, and not to be con 
doned. So it wuz nuthin oncommon if a colored 
man succeeded by hard work and economy in get- 
tin a better house, and hacl good crops and stock, 
for a band of masked men to surround the house 
at midnight and order its inhabitants, on pain of 
death, to leave it all and flee out of the country be 
fore daylight. 

And if they appealed to the law, it wuz a slender 
reed indeed to lean upon, and would break under 
the slightest pressure. 

Indeed, what good could law do, what would de 
crees and enactments avail in the face of this terri 
ble armed power, secret but invincible, that closed 
round this helpless race like the waves of the 
treacherous whirlpool about a twig that wuz cast 
into its seethin waters ? 

The reign of Terrorism, of Lynch Law, of Might 
aginst Right wuz rampant, and if they wanted to 
save even their poor hunted bodies they had learned 
to submit. 

So, poor old men and wimmen would rise up from 
the ruins of their homes, the homes they had built 
with so much hard toil. Feeble wimmen and chil 
dren, as well as youth and strength, would rise up 
and move on, often with sharp, stingin lashes to 
hasten their footsteps. 

Move on to another place to have the same scenes 
enacted over and over agin. 

The crops and stock that wuz left fell as a reward 
to the victors in the fray. 


And if there wuz a pretty girl amongst the fugitives 
she too wuz often and often bound to the conqueror s 
chariot wheels till the chariot got tired of this add 
ed ornament, then she fell down before it and the 
heavy wheels passed over her. And so exit pretty 

But the world wuz full of them ; what mattered 
one more or less ? It wuz no more than if a fly 
should be brushed away by a too heavy hand, and 
have its wings broken. There are plenty more, and 
of what account is one poor insect ? 

Many a poor aged one died broken-hearted in the 
toilsome exodus from their homes and treasures. 

But there wuz plenty more white-headed old 
negroes why, one could hardly tell one from an 
otherof what use wuz it to mention the failure of 
one or two ? 

Many a young and eager one with white blood 
throbbin in his insulted and tortured breast stood 
up and fought for home, and dear ones, and liberty, 
all that makes life sweet to prince or peasant. 

What became of them ? Let the dark forests re 
veal if they can what took place in their shadows. 

Let the calm heavens speak out and tell of the 
anguished cries that swept up on the midnight air 
from tortured ones. How the stingin whip-lash 
mingled with vain cries for mercy. How frenzied 
appeals wuz cut short by the sharp crack of a rifle 
or the swing of a noose let down from some tree- 

How often Death come as a friend to hush the 
lips of intolerable pain and torture ! 

Sometimes this tyrannical foe felt the vengeance 


he had called forth by his cowardly deeds, and a 
white man or woman fell a victim to the vengeance 
of the black race. 

Then the Associated Press sent the tidings through 
an appalled and horrified country 

Terrible deed of a black brute the justly in 
censed citizens hung the wretch up to the nearest 
tree so perish all the enemies of law and order." 

And the hull country applauded the deed. 

The black man had no reporters in the daily 
papers ; if he had, their pens would have been worn 
down to the stump by a tithe of the unrecorded 
deeds that are yet, we believe, put down on a 
record that is onbought and as free to the poorest 
class as to the highest, and is not influenced by 
political bias. 

But these accounts are not open yet, and the full 
history of these tragedies are as yet unread by the 

More awful tragedies than ever took place or ever 
could take place under any other circumstances, 
only where one alien and hated race wuz pitted 
aginst the other. 

Ignorance on both sides, inherited prejudices, and 
personal spite, and animosities blossomin out in its 
fruit of horror. 

They were burnt at the stake ; they were sawed 
asunder ; they were destitute, afflicted, tormented." 

Your soul burns within you as you read of these 
deeds that took place in Jerusalem ; your heart 
aches for them who wandered about tormented, 
hunted down on every side ; you lavish your sym 
pathy upon them ; but then you think it wuz a sav- 



age age, this wuz one of its brutalities, and you 
congratulate yourself upon livin in an age of Chris 
tian enlightenment. 

You think such deeds are impossible in a land over 
which the Star of Bethlehem has shone for eighteen 
hundred years. 

Down in many a Southern bayou, in the depths of 
many a cypress swamp, near the remains of a vio 
lated home, lies a heap of ashes- -all that remains of 
a man who died fightin for his home and his loved 

That wuz his only crime he expiated it with his 
life. But his liberated soul soared upwards jest as 
joyfully, let us hope, as if his body received the full 
sacrament of sorrowful respect. 

One of the laws enacted of late in the South per 
mits a white man to kill a black man for a crime 
committed aginst his honor, and if the white man com 
mits the same crime and the black man takes the 
same revenge, he is killed at once accordin to law 
one man liberated with rejoicings, the other shot 
down like a dog. Do you say the black man is more 
ignorant ? That is a bad plea. 

And wantin to act dretful lawful, a short time ago 
a gang of white law-makers dug up the dead body 
of a dark-complexioned husband they had murdered 
accordin to law, and after breakin its bones, hung 
it over agin. 

He could find in the law no help to defend his 
home or protect his honor, no refuge in the grave 
to which the law had sent him. 

I wonder if his freed soul has found some little 
safe corner in space fenced round by justice and 


compassion, where it can hide itself forever from 
the laws and civilization of this iQth Century, in 
this great and glorious country of the free. 

To select this one instance of cruel wrong and in 
justice from the innumerable ones similar to it is 
like takin up a grain of sand from the seashore and 
contemplatin it the broad seashore that stretches 
out on either hand is full of them. 

And why should not wrongs, and crimes, and 
woes be inevitable why, indeed ? 

A race but lately slaves, with the responsible gift 
of freedom dropped too soon into their weak hands 

The race so lately the dominant and all-powerful 
one through the nation, by the fiction of law dropped 
down under the legal rule of these so long down 
trodden, oppressed, ignorant masses, what could the 
result be ? 

And the law-makers who had proclaimed peace 
and liberty, on paper, sot afar contemplatin the 
great work they had done, and left the Reign of 
Horror to be enacted by the victors and the vic 

Poor colored man ! poor white man ! both to be 
pitied with a pity beyend words. 

It wuz not their fault, it wuz but the fallin hail 
and lightnin and tempest out of clouds that had 
been gatherin for ages. 

But after the tempest cometh peace. And the 
eyes of Faith beholds through the mists and the 
darkness the sunshine of a calmer time, the peace 
and the rest of a fair country, and a free one. 

God grant more wisdom to the great common 
wealth of this nation, those whose wills are spoken 


out by their ballots, to the makers and the doers of 

But I am a eppisodin , and to resoom, and con 
tinue on. 

Felix and Hester, by some good chance, or by the 
grace of God, had not been obliged yet to leave 
their pretty home, so they worked on, tryin to be 
so peaceable and friendly that no fault could be 
found with them. 

Col. Seybert s attention when he wuz at Seybert 
Court wuz very annoyin to Hester, but she dared 
not tell Felix, fearin that he would avenge himself 
on the Colonel, and bloodshed would result. 

So she tried to be very careful. She had an old 
negro woman stay with her ; she took in work all 
she could at home, and when she went out to work 
she wuz prudent and watchful, and, fortunately for 
her peace of mind, the Colonel made short stays at his 
home he found more potent attractions elsewhere. 

So stood matters when Felix wuz appointed Jus 
tice of the Peace at Eden Centre. 

He wuz honestly appointed and honestly elected. 

Victor had always declined any office, and had 
Felix taken his advice he would also have refused 
the office. 

But perhaps Felix had some ambition. And 
maybe he had some curiosity to see what honesty 
and a pure purpose could accomplish in political 
matters, to see what such a marvellous thing could 
amount to. 

Anyway, he accepted the nomination and received 
the office. 

And the night after he wuz elected he and Hester 


talked the matter over with some pardonable pride 
as they sot in the door of their pretty little parlor 
in the warm moonlight. 

The creepin vines on the trellis cast pleasant 
shadows of leaf and blossom down over their heads 
and on the pretty carpet at their feet. 

This carpet Hester had bought with her own 
money and wuz proud of. 

The moonlight lay there warm and bright, weav- 
in its magic tapestry of rose leaf and swingin 
vine tendrils long after they wuz asleep in their lit 
tle white-draped room near by. 

Baby Ned lay fast asleep, with a smile on his moist, 
flushed face, in his love-guarded cradle near them. 

The little boy did not dream of anything less sweet 
and peaceful than his mother s good-night kiss that 
had been his last wakin remembrance. 

But about midnight other shadows, black and ter 
rible ones, trod out and defaced the swayin , trem- 
blin* rose images and silvery moonlight on the floor. 

Tall men in black masks, a rough, brutal gang, 
surrounded the place and crashed in the door of the 
little cottage. 

Amongst the foremost wuz Nick Burley, a low, 
brutal fellow, one of Col. Seybert s overseers and 
boon companions. 

He had wanted the office, and his friends greatly 
desired it for him, thinkin no doubt it would prove 
many times a great convenience to them. 

But Felix won it honorably. He got the majority 
of votes and wuz honestly elected. 

But Burley and his choice crew of secret Regu 
lators could not brook such an insult as to have one 



of a race of slaves preferred to him, so they pro 
ceeded to mete out the punishment to him fit for 
such offenders. 

They tore Felix from his bed, leavin Hester in a 
faintin fit, and the little child screamin with fright. 


Took him out in the swamp, bound him to a tree, 
and whipped him till he had only a breath of life left 
in him ; then they put him into a crazy old boat, and 
launched him out on the river, tellin him "if he 
ever dared to step his foot into his native State agin 
they would burn him alive." 


And this happened in our free country, in a coun 
try where impassioned oritors, on the day set apart 
to celebrate our nation s freedom, make their voices 
heard even above the roar of blatant cannons, so 
full of eloquence and patriotism are they, as they 
eulogize our country s liberty, justice, and inde 

" The only clime under God s free sky," they say, 
" where the law protects all classes alike, and the 
vote of the poorest man is as potent as the loftiest, in 
moulding our perfect institutions. Where the low 
est and the highest have full and equal civil and 
political rights." 

Oh, it would have been a goodly sight for our 
American eagle, proud emblem of liberty, to 
have witnessed this midnight scene we have been 
describin ; methinks such a spectacle would almost 
have magnetism to draw him from his lofty lair on 
Capitol Hill to swoop down into this cypress swamp, 
and perchin upon some lofty tree-top, look down 
and witness this administration of justice and equal 
rights, to mark how these beneficent free laws en 
wrap all the people and protect them from foreign 
invasion and home foes, to see how this nation loves 
its children, its black children, who dumbly endured 
generations of unexampled wrongs and indignities 
at its hands, and then in its peril bared their patient 
breasts and risked their lives to save it. 

How this bird of freedom must laugh in a parrot- 
like glee, if so grave and dignified a fowl wuz ever 
known to indulge in unseemly mirth, to see the play go 
on, the masquerade of Folly and Brutality in the garb 
of Wisdom and Order, holding such high carnival. 


After thus sendin Felix half dead from his brutal 
usage adrift on the turbid river waves that they felt 
assured would float him down to a sure and swift 
death, the gang of ruffians returned to the cottage 
to complete their night s work. 

Col. Seybert had dealt out plenty of bad whiskey 
to them to keep up their courage ; and Nick Burley, 
besides satisfying his own vengeance upon Felix, 
had been offered a very handsome reward by his 
master for gettin him out of the way and takin 
Hester to a lonely old cabin of his in the depths 
of the big forest. 

But they found the pretty cottage empty, and 
the} could only show their disapprobation of the 
fact by despoilin and ruinin the cozy nest from 
which the bird had flown. 

Hester had recovered from her faintin fit jest as 
they wuz takin Felix to the river ; she discovered 
by their shouts which way they had gone, followed 
them at a safe distance, and when they had disap 
peared she by almost a miracle swam out to the 
boat which had drifted into a bayou, brought it to 
shore, and nursed him back to life agin. 

And for weeks they remained in hidin , not darin 
to return to their dear old home that they had 
earned so hardly, and Felix not dreamin of claimin 
his honest rights as a duly elected Justice of the 

No, he felt that he had had enough of political 
honors and preferments if he could only escape 
with his life and keep his wife and boy wuz all he 

At last he got a note to Victor, who aided him in 


his flight to another State, where he patiently com 
menced life agin with what courage and ambition 
he might bring to bear on it, with his mind forever 
dwellin on his bitter wrongs and humiliation, and 
on memories of the old home left forever behind him 
that pretty home with the few acres of orchard 
and garden about it. And remembered how he and 
Hester delighted in every dollar they paid towards 
it, and how they had a little feast, and invited in 
their friends that sunny June day when the last dol 
lar wuz paid, and it wuz their own. 

And remembered how proudly they had labored 
to finish and furnish the little home. How Hester 
had worked at washin and ironin and bought the 
paper and paint, and pretty curtains and carpet, 
and how infinitely happy they had been in it. 

How after his hard day s work he would work in 
the little sunshiny garden and orchard settin out 
fruit trees, plantin berry bushes and grape-vines, 
and how they had together gloried over all their 
small successes, and thought that they had the very 
coziest and happiest home in the world. 

Wall, they had lost it all. The honor of bein an 
American citizen bore down pretty heavy on him, 
and he had to give it up. 

Wall, twice did Felix try to get a home for him 
self and his wife in the Southern States. 

But both times, on one pretext or another, did 
the dominant power deprive him of his earnings, 
and take his home from him. 

Felix had a good heart ; and once, the last time 
he tried to make a home under Southern skies, this 
good heart wuz the cause ol his overthrow. 


He barely escaped with his life for darin to har 
bor a white teacher who had left his home and gone 
down South, followin the Bible precepts " to seek 
and save them that was lost, and preach the Gospel 
to every creature." 

He taught a small colored school week days and 
preached in an old empty barn on Sundays. 

Little Ned went to his school and wuz greatly at 
tached to him. 

But when he wuz ordered to leave the State 
within twenty-four hours, because " he wuz tryin 
to teach them brute cattle jest as if they wuz 

Bein frightened and made sick by the violence 
of his discharge and the stingin arguments with 
which they enforced their orders, Felix opened his 
poor cabin-door and sheltered him ; then agin his 
home wuz surrounded with a band of armed, masked 
men, and the} 7 only managed to escape with their 
lives, and Felix agin left all his poor little improve 
ments on his home behind him. 

He and his family and the white teacher, bruised 
but undaunted, got to the railroad by walkin 
almost all night, and so escaped out of their hands. 

The young teacher married soon after a rich 
Northern woman with kindred tastes to his own, 
and they both betook themselves imegiatly after 
their marriage to a part of the South a little less 
ardent in hatred to the Freedmen s Bureau, where 
they are doin a good work still in teachin a col 
ored school. 

But the next time Felix made a start in life he 
commenced it in a Northern city. 



There the best thing he could get in the way of a 
home for his wife and child wuz a room way up on 
the top of a crazy old tenement-house tenanted by 
noisy, drunken, profane men and women. 

For drunkenness, and brawls, and sickenin* hor- 


rors are not confined to Southern soil ; they are 
also indigenous to the North. 

And the gaunt wolves of Sin and Want howl to 
the moon under the Northern skies as well as 

And stayin there not livin workin hard as he 
did through the day, and uninvitin as his home 


wuz after his labor wuz over, he could set down for 
a few minutes with Hester, only to have their quiet 
broken by drunken brawls, and oaths, and fights, 
and all sounds and sights of woe and squalor. 

In such circumstances as these the teachings and 
importunate words of Victor about colonization fell 
upon a willin ear. 

For the seeds that had laid in Victor s heart, wait- 
in only the warm sun to bring them to life, had 
sprung up into full vigor and bloom under the influ 
ence of Genieve s prophetic words, and afterwards 
by his own observation and study. 

Victor come to believe with his whole soul and 
heart that the future of his race depended upon their 
leavin* this land and goin fur away from all the 
cursed influences that had fettered them so long here 
and found a new home and country for themselves 
a New Republic. 

And as Felix, with whom Victor had been in con 
stant correspondence, read these glowin words and 
arguments, they fell upon good ground. 

Truly the soil in Felix breast had been turned, 
and ploughed, and made ready for the seed of lib 
erty to be planted and spring up. 

All of the time while he wuz gettin his education 
so hardly, spendin every hour he could possibly 
spare from his work in endeavorin to fit himself for 
a future of freedom and usefulness all this while he 
had been told, been taught in sermons and religious 
and secular literature, and read it in law books and 
statutes, that merit wuz the only patent of nobility 
in this country, that merit would win the prizes of 


To this end he had worked, had shaped his own 
life to habits of honesty and industry ; he had sur 
rounded himself with all the safeguards possible to 
keep him in the right path, chose for his intimate 
friends young men who cherished the same lofty 
ideals that he did. 

He attended church constantly, became an ear 
nest Christian, had obtained an excellent education, 
and then it wuz not strange that he should look 
about him to try to behold the rewards that merit 
wins. One illustration of this reward of merit we 
have jest given when he wuz elected Justice ot 
the Peace. 

That wuz a fair sample of the rewards of merit 
offered to his race. 

He wuz not alone in it ; no, he looked about him, 
and he saw thousands and thousands of young col 
ored men who had studied jest as hard as he had 
they too had dreams of this great truth that had 
been dinned in their ears so long that Christian 
ity, education, and merit will win all the prizes of 

They studied, they worked hard, they pursued 
lofty ideals, and when they left their schools they 
wuz Christians, they wuz educated, they wuz meri 
torious. Their minds wuz bright and well equipped, 
their tastes wuz refined, they wuz good. 

Of what avail wuz it all, so Felix asked himself, 
when they wuz pushed back to the wall by brazen 
audacity and ignorance and intolerance and igno 
rance and immorality, if encased in a white skin, 
might snatch all the prizes out of their hands and 
take their places in the front ranks of life. 


In many States in the South they could not get 
the place of a policeman if it depended upon the in 
tegrity of the ballot. 

What sort of an education, a finishing school, wuz 
this for the young colored man of the South ? Wuz 
such unblushin fraud, and lies, and cheatin , and 
heart-burnings, and sickenin disappointments, and 
deeds of violence, a wholesome atmosphere for 
young people to learn morals in ? 

Felix, as he looked about him and saw the thou 
sands and thousands and thousands of young men, 
graduates of schools and members of churches, in 
jest the same condition as he himself wuz he might 
be pardoned if he asked himself if the long horror of 
the War had been in vain. 

If Lincoln and Grant and all the other pure souls 
had toiled and died in vain. 

If the millions of dollars given by Northern philan 
thropy, and the noble lives of sacrifice in teachin 
and preachin , had been given in vain. 

He might be pardoned if he said : 

" Give these young colored people new doctrines 
or new laws ; teach them less Christianity by book 
and a little more practical religion and justice by 
object lesson ; give these law-abiding, native-born 
citizens of this Republic a tithe of the rights and 
privileges enjoyed by the lowest criminal foreigner 
newly landed on our shores, or else let this addition 
be made to their creeds : 

" Merit has nothing to do in determining a man s 
future life. 

" Injustice shall conquer in the end. 


" * Fraud shall be victor over honest and Chris 
tian endeavor. 

" The colored man, by reason of his dark com 
plexion, shall be forever deprived of all the blessings 
and privileges of the Government he risked his life 
to save. " 

Put this into the creeds you teach the young col 
ored men and women, and they will at least respect 
you for bein sincere and truthful. 

Felix felt all this, and more too more than I 
could set down if my pen wuz as long as from here 
to the moon, and longer. 

And feelin as he did, is it any wonder that all his 
mind and heart wuz sot on this skeme of Victor s, 
and all his hopes and aims pinted towards a new 
home, where he could take his wife and child and 
be free ? where he felt that he could own them and 
own a right to make a home for em a home 
where the American eagle, proud bird of Liberty, 
could nevermore tear him with her talons, or claw 
his trustin eyes out with her sharp bill? 

He felt this, but the eagle wuzn t to blame it 
wuz her keepers, if he had only known it. The 
eagle wuz in a hard place. I felt real sorry for the 
fowl, and have for a number of times. She has been 
in many a tight place before now places where it 
wuz all she could do to squeeze out her wings and 
shake em a mite. 

Wall, Felix worked hard, and so did Hester, with 
this end in view to go fur away and be at rest. 

Felix, after many efforts, got a place as workman 
on a big buildin that wuz bein put up ; and Hester 


got a place as fine washerwoman and laundress with 
good wages. 

They lived cheap as they could, and at the time 
when I first hearn about em (from Genieve) they 
had got about the amount saved that Victor thought 
they would require. 

Felix wanted at least four or five hundred dollars 
to start with. You see, he and Victor could look 
ahead, which is more than some of their mother s 
race can do. 

Felix knew he had got to have something to live 
on for the first year after he got to the Promised 
Land. He didn t mean to pin his faith onto any 
body or anything. He felt that his family s safety 
and well-bein depended on him, and he wuz bound 
to labor with that end in view. 

And Victor wuz workin as hard as Felix ; work- 
in* quietly and secretly as possible, deemin that the 
best way to avert danger from them and make suc 
cess possible. 

He wuz workin as a standard-bearer, a tryin* to 
make his people hear his cry to move forward into 
the Promised Land, into their own land, from 
whence they had been torn with violence, but to 
which they should return with knowledge and wis 
dom learned in the hard school of martyrdom and 

He knew that to preach this doctrine to all his 
people would be like tryin to stop the course of the 
wind by a shout. 

The old, the feeble, and those who wuz attached by 
strong ties of love or gratitude to this Western land 
and Heaven knows there wuz many such who had 



received such kind treatment from the dominant 
race (if kindness is possible in slavery) that their 
hearts wuz knit to the spot where their old masters 
and mistresses wuz 

These people he did not seek to disturb with 


dreams of new homes in a freer land love makes 
labor light they wuzn t unhappy. 

And then there wuz many who had got peaceful 
homes in settlements and cities who wuz contented 
and doin wellor, that is, what they thought well 
these Victor did not seek to change. 

But for the young, the educated, the resolute, the 


Ambitious he tried to influence their eager, active 
minds with his own ideal of a New Republic. 

Where his people, so long down-trodden, might 
have a chance to become a great nation, with a future 
glorious with a grandeur the colder white race 
never dreamed of. 

When Victor heard scoffin prophecies of the 
negro s incapacity to govern himself or others, he 
thought of the example of that hero saint, Toussaint 
L Ouverture. How he, a pure negro, with no white 
blood in his veins, carved out the freedom of his 

How, brave as a lion, this untaught man fought 
aginst overwhelmin odds, and won battles that the 
best-trained soldier would almost have despaired 
of ; surmounted difficulties and won victories that 
would have proved well-nigh impossible to a Wash 
ington or a Napoleon. How, untaught in diplo 
macy, he reconciled conflictin interests that would 
have baffled our wisest statesmen. 

Clement and merciful, for he always shrank from 
causin bloodshed till war or ruin wuz inevitable. 

Generous, for when the storm burst his first 
thought wuz to save his master s family. 

Wise and prudent, he founded and ruled over a 
peaceful and prosperous republic till he wuz be 
trayed to his ruin not by the black race, but by the 
cupidity, and treachery, and envy of the white race. 

Perished by starvation in a dungeon for the sole 
fault of bein superior and nobler than the white 
people who envied his success and sought his over 

Victor thought if one of his own race could do this 


marvellous thing, amidst such warrin and diverse 
elements and opposin races, what would it not be 
possible for his people to do in a new and free coun 
try, in a state of peace and quiet, with only the in 
terests and advancement of this one race to look 

He dreamed in his hopeful visions of a fresh new 
civilization springin up anew in the soil that had 
nurtured the first civilization. 

For in the East, where the star had first shone 
and travelled on to the West, then back agin to the 
mystical wonder-laden East thither did Victor s 
rapt eyes follow it. And Genieve, too, how she 
dreamed and longed for that new kingdom ! 

All through their dreary servitude, tortured and 
wretched, it seemed as if God gave to the believers 
amongst this people songs in the night, as if His spirit 
breathed through the simple hymns they sung to 
lighten the hours of bondage. 

Some spirit, some inspiration seemed to breathe 
through their songs that brought tears to eyes un 
used to weepin . 

The most cultured, the most refined found, in spite 
of themselves, that they had wet cheeks and beatin 
hearts after listenin to these simple strains. 

It could not have been for their musical worth 
for they had little ; it could not have been for their 
literary value for they had none. 

What could it have been in them that charmed 
alike prince and peasant but the spirit of the Most 
High, who come down to speak hope and cheer to 
His too burdened and hopeless ones and lighten 
their captivity ? . 


Genieve thought that when this people, whom 
God chose to honor in this way, and whom He had 
led in such strange ways out of the jungles of igno 
rance in Africa, through the hard school of Ameri 
can slavery, out into liberty she dreamed it was for 
the express purpose of educating her race so they 
might go back and redeem this dark land ; and then 
she fancied that the Presence that had stayed with 
them through the dark night of sorrow would in 
the full day of their civilization shine out with a 
marvellous light, and they would be peculiarly 
under His care. 

She dreamed that this child- like, warm-hearted 
race would indeed " see God" as the colder and 
more philosophical races could not. 

So, as I begun to say but what a hand to eppi- 
sode I am, and what a digressor I be and I believe 
my soul it grows on me 

Wall, as I begun to say more n half an hour ago, if 
it wuz a minute, 

Col. Seybert thought he had another cause of 
enmity aginst Victor, for he had strong proofs that it 
wuz he who had helped release Hester from his 

And although it wuz kept secret as possible, yet 
rumors had reached Col. Seybert of Victor s dreams 
of the colonization of his race. 

And to this Col. Seybert wuz opposed with all the 
selfishness and haughty arrogance ol his nature. 
Why, who would work his big plantations if it wuz 
not for the blacks ? And if this movement should suc 
ceed he knew it would draw off the best, and most 
intelligent, and industrious element, and the ones 



left in the South would charge double wages, so he 

And as to Victor, he vowed to himself with a big 


round oath that he should not go. He should not 
leave him. 

Why, who would look after his interests as he 
always had who would keep his affairs from goin 


to ruin durin* his long sprees ? Where could be 
found another servant with his absolute honesty, 
and intelligence, and care for his interests ? 

Why, as he thought of it, all the old slaveholdin* 
instinct of compellin his inferiors, the hereditary 
impulse to rule or ruin rose in him, and his face 
grew red with wrath, and he vowed agin, with a 
still more sonorous oath, " That Victor should not 
go," and he added, with a true slave-driver s em 
phasis, " not alive." 

His overseer and kindred spirit, Nick Burley, 
hated Victor ; for, added to the hated knowledge 
that Victor wuz his superior in every way, wuz the 
belief that he had befriended Felix. At all events, 
Victor and Felix wuz close friends always, and Bur- 
ley hated Felix worse if possible than he did Victor. 

But to Victor and Genieve all these shadows lay 
fur away on the horizon almost unseen, and anyway 
almost forgotten in the clear sunshine of their happi 

For true love will make sunshine everywhere. 



rBOUT half a mile from Belle Fanchon, 
on the road that led to Eden Centre, 
stood a little tumble-down cottage 
where an old colored woman lived 
with her granddaughter and grandson. 
Cleopatra, shortened into Aunt Clo , wuz pic- 
turesque-lookin even in her rags. She wuz taller 
by far than common wimmen, with a portly figure, 
that did not show any marks of privation, although 
it wuz difficult to tell what the family lived on, for 
it wuz the exception instead of the rule to see any 
one of em employed in any useful labor. 

Once in a great while Aunt Clo would go out for 
a day s work washin or cleanin house, or any 
other work she could perform. 

At such times, although she professed to have 
great " misery" in her back, her arms, her legs, and, 
in fact, " all her bones," yet she did a good day s 
work, but wrth groanings scarcely to be uttered. 

She always seemed serenely gracious in receivin 
anything that Maggie gave her, evidently consider- 
in it wuz only her due. 

But although her day s works wuz exceedingly 
unfrequent, and her granddaughter Rosy and the 


boy Abe wuz hardly ever seen to perform any labor, 
yet they showed no signs of starvation, certainly. 

As a reason for this state of things the neighbors 
hen-roosts and corn-fields might have given evL 

Rosy, the young granddaughter, wuz utterly 
without morals of any savin kind. She wuz rathei 


pretty for a full-blooded African. A empty-headed, 
gigglin , utterly depraved study in black. 

Not one of the family could read or write, or 
hardly tell the time of day. Two large dogs formed 
part of their household, and they seemingly pos 
sessed more intelligence than either of the human 

Rosy used often to come to Maggie s kitchen to 
ask for things they wanted. For one peculiarity of 


this family wuz that they seemed only serenely per- 
formin their duty when they begged for anything 
they wanted. 

One day, as she sot before me arrayed in cheap, 
dirty finery, I said to her : 

" Rosy, can you read or write ?" 

"No, missy." 

" Wouldn t you like to learn to ?" 

" I d no, missy." 

" There is a colored school only a little ways from 
here, where a good many of your people are learp- 
in to be good scholars. Why don t you go to it? 

" I d no, missy." 

" If you will go I will give you the books yoi. 
will want. Will you go if I will get them for you ?"* 

" Yes, missy." 

A most unblushin falsehood, as I learned after 
wards. For she sold the books as soon as I gave 
them to her at the little store at the Corners, sold 
them for a string of yellow glass beads and a cheap 
cotton lace collar. 

And when I taxed her with this, she denied it at 

And when I told her that I saw the books at the 
store myself, she said she had lost the books on her 
way to school, and the beads and collar had been 
given her. 

~ mt Fore de Lawd dey had." 

What could any one do with such ignorance, and 
falsehood, and utter lack of principle ? 

And as Maggie said, " The South is overrun with 
just such characters as these." 

Not all of them about there wuz so, she said, not 


by any means ; some of them wuz earnest Chris 
tians, good scholars, good inhabitants. 

But thousands and thousands of those who wuz 
slaves, bred to concealment and lies in self-defence, 
taught all kinds of vice by the system under which 
they wuz born and nurtured, seem to have no sense 
of what is right and what is wrong ; they will steal 
with no compunction of conscience ; lie when the 
truth would serve them better ; will only work 
when compelled to, and are low and depraved every 

" What is to be done with them?" sez I. And 
Maggie said and I thought there wuz but one an 
swer to this, wherever they be, for movin* their 
bodies round won t purify their souls to once nor 
quicken their intellects imegiatly. 

Give them the Bible, teach them, arouse them 
from the dark sleep of sin and ignorance, learn them 
to stand upright and then to walk. 

Givin such men the right to vote and control by 
their greater numbers the educated race is as sim 
ple as it would be to set a baby that had never took 
a step to runnin a race for a prize with an athlete. 

The baby has got to stand on its feet first, get a 
little strength in its soft, unused muscles, then it has 
got to learn to walk, then to run, and so on ; after 
long patience and teachin , it can mebby win its race 
by runnin and leapin ; but not at first, not before 
it can creep. 

Why, for a time after I first went South things 
looked so new and strange to me, and my daughter 
Maggie wuz so firm in her belief, that I seemed to 
think jest as she did, and we would talk for hours 


and hours, and agree jest as well as two human 
creeters could agree. And I guess I even outdone 
her in drawin metafors, and drawin em to great 
distances, as my way is. 

For I am always one to speak out and tell how 
things look to me to-day ; if they look different to 
morrow under the light of some different knowl 
edge, why, then I ll speak out agin and tell that 
when the time comes. 

And some of these beliefs Maggie and I pro 
mulgated to each other, I believe now jest as strong 
as I did then, and some of my idees got sort o modi 
fied down in the course of time. Of this more and 

But then Maggie would talk to me, and I d say to 
Maggie : 

Why, lettin such ignorant and onexperienced 
men rule the country, rule free, educated, cultured 
men and wimmen, is as foolish as it would be to put a 
blind man onto a wild, onbroke horse, and tell him 
to guide it safe when it wuz led right along by pits, 
and canyons, and kasems, and helpless ones and 
infants are layin right in its path, and lots of mean, 
ugly creeters ready to ketch holt of the bits and 
back him off out of their way. 

Why, that blind man couldn t do it. Why ? be 
cause he hain t got any eyes, that is why. 

He don t know which line to pull on, for he 
hain t got no eyes to see which way the danger lays, 
nor which side on him folks are a layin in his track. 

He hain t to blame, that blind man hain t, nor 
the horse hain t to blame, nor the helpless ones he is 
a tromplin over and a stompin and a kickin . 


" Who is to blame?" Why, the ones that lifted 
him onto the horse. 

Wall, say some, the blind man wuz lifted onto the 
horse in the first place to get him out of danger ; he 
wuz jest on the pint of sinkin down into the deep 
mud and quicksand ; he wuz lifted onto the horse as 
a war measure, a way of safety to him out of his 

Wall, I sez, that wuz all right ; I presume 
they thought the horse could bear him out safely 
amongst the pitfalls a layin on every side of him, 
and I dare presume to say they didn t realize that 
the man wuz so blind, or that so many wuz goin to 
be trompled on by the heels of the horse. 

But now, I say, they have gin it a fair trial, 
they see it didn t work ; they see that a blind man 
can t ride a wild horse over a dangerous road with 
safet} 7 to himself, or the horse, or the helpless ones 
in his way. 

1 Wall, what will you do ?" you say. 

Wall, Maggie spozed the case, and I did ; we 
said, spozin the ones that lifted that blind man up 
onto the horse should take him off on it a spell as easy 
as they could, so s not to hurt his feelin s, and then 
go to doctorin the man s eyes, to try to get him so 
he can see ; hold the horse for him till he can see ; 
curb the horse down so it will go smoother some ; 
encourage the man by tellin him the truth that you 
are a keepin the horse for him, and he is a goin to 
get up onto him agin and ride him as soon as he can 
see, and the sooner he gets his eyesight the sooner 
he can ride. 

Give him the sure cure for his blindness, and then 



if he won t lay holt and cure himself, let him go 
afoot as long as the world stands. 

Give the black man and the poor whites plenty of 
means for study and self-improvement. Give them 
the Bible and good schools, plenty of religious and 
seckular teachers, and I believe they will improve, 
will become safe guides to foller and to guide them* 
selves, whether in this land or in another, wherever 
their future may lay. 

Sez Thomas Jefferson : " The same rule would 
work well to the North as well as the South." 

Heaven knows it would," sez I. It hain t be- 
comin in us to cast motes and forget beams. 
Heaven knows that our criminals, and paupers, and 
drunkards, and the foreign convicts and jail-birds 
landed on our shores are not safe gardeens to trust 
our life and liberties to. 

This mass of ignorance and vice, native and for 
eign, that swarms to the polls, bought for a measure 
of whiskey, ought to be dealt with in the same way. 

Men who can t read the names on the ballots can t 
see deep enough into the urena of political life to be 
safe guides to foller, to be safe gardeens to the help 
less wimmen and children committed to their care. 

Liberty is too priceless a jewel to be committed 
into such vile hands, such weak hands, hands that 
would and do barter it away to the highest bidder. 

Liberty and Freedom sold for a glass of beer. 
The right of suffrage, the patent of our American 
nobility, to be squandered and degraded for a pipe 
ful of tobacco. The idee ! 

And kneelin in churches, sez I, and settin apart 
in their own homes are royal souls, grand, educated 


lovers of their country and their kind, who would 
for duty s sake reach out one hand to take the bal 
lot, and cling with the other to the cross of the 

Them who have agonizeoT over the woes and 
wrongs of the world, and tried with anointed vision 
to find out the true wisdom of life and right livin 
have spent their whole noble lives for the good of 
poor humanity 

They must kneel on in silence, and stay in seclu 
sion, and see the freedom of their children and the 
children of humanity bought and sold, and sunk in 
the dirt, and trailed in the mire by them who have 
never given a thought to righteousness and right 
livin . 

The black man would never have been freed from 
his chains of bondage had not a necessity arisen. 
God s great opportunity comes on down the ages ; 
let us be ready for it. He sees wrongs, and woes, 
and incomparable sufferings plead to Him for re 

The heavens .are very still. The prayin ones 
hear no reply to their tears, their lamentations, their 
despairin cries. 

The heavens are very calm, and blue, and fur 

But at last man s necessity, God s great oppor 
tunity comes ; the oppressors are driven into some 
corner by their own deeds, till the only way for them 
to get out in safety is to answer the prayers of cen 
turies and let the oppressed go free. 

Man s necessity has come ; they endure plague 
after plague, and depend on their own strength and 


keep up their own proud wills, and harden their 
hearts, and refuse to answer the pleadings of justice. 

But bimeby the plagues increase, their troubles 
grow greater and greater, they encompass them 
about, there is no way out only to liberate the 
great throng that stands between them and safety. 
And bimeby, when there is a dead one in every 
house, and weepin is on every side, and the mourn 
ers go about the street, and the mountains are be 
hind, and the sea in front, and there is no way out 
only to liberate the oppressed, why, then there is a 
" military necessity." 

God s opportunity has come. Rather than perish 
themselves they will let justice be done, let the op 
pressed go free. 

Now, here is another Egypt. A long-oppressed, 
ignorant race is set up too sudden as a ruler over an 
educated, intelligent, intolerant one, for in many 
places the white race is in the minority. 

But it will not yield to the misrule of ignorance. 

The white people are bitter, arrogant, and op 
pressive under their new conditions. 

The blacks, nursin their old and new wrongs, 
are burnin for vengeance on their oppressors. 
They will not suffer much longer and be still 

A great struggle is impendin . I spoze the Nation 
thinks and it is naterel for anybody to think that 
the black vote cannot be put down legally sence the 
right of suffrage wuz gin em. They think it 
couldn t be taken from them for a long time without 
a war followin ; they think they would fight their 
way to the poles, and it would seem naterel that 
they should, sez I, and so sez Maggie. 


11 Then what can be done ?" sez Maggie ; and then 
wuz the time that I sez, and I felt real riz up when 
I sez it : 

There is one thing that might be tried give the 
ballot to the white women of the South, and to 
the black women too, if they can come up to the 
standpoint of intelligence. Let a certain amount of 
education and intelligence be the qualification to 
the ballot. 

This is your peaceful passin through the Red Sea 
of the present. The waves may stand up pretty 
high on each side ; loud talk, and fears for womanly 
modesty, fears for man s supremacy, fears for the 
dignity of the ballot will blow up pretty high waves 
on both sides. 

But, sez I solemnly, if the Lord is the Leader, 
if He stands in front of the army, and it is His hand 
that beckons us forward, and He who passes over in 
front of the army, we shall pass through in safety, and 
the nation will be saved. 

The supremacy will remain in the hands of the 
educated men and women of the South till the illit 
erates become safe leaders to themselves and others 
by education and the civilizing influences of the 
Bible and good teachers. 

The supremacy would be taken out of the whis 
key bathed hands of the loafer rabble in Northern 
cities, and remain in the safer hands ol educated 
men and women, till the lower classes rise up 
by the same safe means of education and en 
lightenment, when they too will become safe leaders 
and teachers of the best. And I sez, How will 
this Nation find any safer means, any fairer way ? 


It offers safety to the imperilled present, it offers 
a hope, an incentive for the strugglin future. 

The poorest boy and the poorest girl would have 
this hope, this incentive to learn for the royal road 
is free for all, beggar or child of wealth. The path 
opens right up from the alley to the President s 
chair, from the tenement to the Capitol, jest as sure 
as from the mansion house or the university. 

It is safe another way, so it seems to me, because 
it is right and just. 

Justice may seem to lead through strange ways 
sometimes thorny roads, steep and rugged mounts, 
and deep, dark wildernesses, while the path of ex 
pedience and pleasant selfishness may seem to open 
up a flowery way. 

But every time, every single time, Justice is the 
safe one to foller. And it is she who will lead you 
out into a safe place, while the rosy clouds that hang 
over the path of selfish expedience will anon, or 
even sooner, turn black, and lower down, and close 
up the way in darkness and despair. 

This seems to me a safe way for the imperilled 
South while it is passin through this crisis, and the 
light shines jest as fair and fresh in the newer day 
that gleams in the distance. It is shinin in the eyes 
of them that see fur off, fair and beautiful, the New 
Republic, where there are equal rights, educated 
suffrage, co-operative labor. Oh ! blessed land be- 
yend the swellin waves of the unquiet Present ! 

Genieve sees it plain, and so duz Victor. And 
thousands and thousands of the educated and mor 
ally riz up of the colored race see it to-day, and are 
a strivin towards it. 



ONE mornin I sot off for a walk fc bein 
set so much of the time, and used as I 
wuz to bein on my feet. 
I told Josiah I believed I d lose 
the use of my lims if I didn t walk 
round some. 

" Wall," he said, " for his part, he wuz glad to 
set down, and set there." 

That man has always sot more or less. He hain t 
never worked the hours that I have, but I wouldn t 
want him told that I said it. Good land ! it would only 
agrevate him ; he wouldn t give in that it wuz so. 

But anyway, as I say, I sot out most imegiatly 
after breakfast. I left Maggie pretty as a pink, a 
takin care of the children with Genieve s help. 
And my Josiah a settin , jest a settin down, and 
nothin else. 

But I didn t care if he growed to the chair, I felt 


that I must use my lims, must walk off somewhere 
and move round, and I had it in my mind where I 
wuz a goin . 

I knew there wuz a little settlement of colored 
folks not fur from Belle Fanchon by the name of 
Eden Centre. Good land, what a name ! 

But I spoze that they wuz so tickled after the War, 
when they spozed they wuz free, and had got hud 
dled down in a little settlement of their own, that 
they thought it would be a good deal like Paradise 
to em. So they named it Eden Centre. 

As if to say, this hain t the outskirts and suburbs 
of Paradise not at all. It is the very centre of 
felicity, the very heart of the garden of happiness, 
Eden Centre. 

Wall, I thought I d set out and walk that way. 

So I wended my way onwards at a pretty good 
jog with my faithful umberell spread abroad over my 
head to keep the too ardent rays of the sun away 
from my foretop and my new bunnet. 

Part of the way the road led through a thicket of 
fragrant pines, and anon, or oftener, would come out 
into a clearin where there would be a house a stand- 
in back in the midst of some cultivated fields, and 
anon I would see a orange grove, more or less pros- 
perous-lookin . 

Jest a little way out of Eden Centre I come to the 
remains of a large buildin burned down, so nothin 
but some shapeless ruins and one tall black chimbly 
remained, dumbly pintin upwards towards the sky ; 
and owin to a bend in it, it wuz shaped some like a 
big black interrogation mark, a risin upwards aginst 
the background of the clear blue sky. 


It looked curius. 

And jest as I wuz a standin still in my tracks, a 
ponderin over the meanin of it, and a leanin on the 
rough fence that run along by the roadside, a old 
darkey come along with a mule hitched onto a rickety 
buggy with a rope. And 1 akosted him, and asked 
him what wuz the meanin of that big black chimbly 
a standin up in that curius way. 

He seemed awful ready to stop and talk. It wuz 
the hot weather, I spoze. And the mule had called 
for sights of labor to get him along, I could see that 
and he sez : 

" De Cadimy used to stand dar. " 

Sez I, " The school-house for the colored people ?" 

" Yes," sez he. 

" How did it come to be burned down ?" sez I. 

" De white folks buhnt it down," sez he calmly. 

"What for?" sez I. 

Cause dey didn t want it dere," sez he. " Dat s 
what I spoze wuz de influential reason." 

And then he went on and told me the hull story, 
and mebby I d better tell it a little faster than he 
did. It took place some years before, but he had 
lived right there in Eden Centre, and wuz knowin 
to the hull thing. 

A white minister had come down from the North, 
a man who had some property, and wuz a good 
man, and seein the grievous need of schools for 
the black man, had used his own money to build the 

He tried to get land for the school nearer the city, 
where more could be helped by it, but nobody would 
ell land for such a purpose. 


Finally, he come here, and on this poor tract of 
land that the negroes owned he put up his buildings. 

It took about all the money he had to build the 
house and get the school started. 

He had jest got it started, and had fifty pupils 
grown people and children of the freedmen when 
some ruffians come one stormy night and set it on 

The white prejudice wuz so strong aginst havin 
the colored race taught, that they burned down the 
buildings, destroyed all the property that that good 
man had spent there. 

It wuz on a cold, stormy night. His wife wuz ill 
in bed when the fire broke out ; the fright and ex 
posure of that night killed her. 

Not a white man dast open his door to take the 
family in, though the white Baptist preacher at 
Wyandotte, when he hearn on it, he jest riz right 
up in his pulpit the next Sunday night, mad with a 
holy wrath at what had been done in their midst. 

He riz right up and told his flock right to their 
faces what he thought of such doin s. 

They said he stood there with his handsome head 
throwed back, and sez he, brave as a lion (and fur 
better- lookin ), sez he : 

" Such outrages are a shame to humanity. Men 
war against principles and issues, not against helpless 
women and children ;" and sez he, " If they had fled 
to me for safety, I would have opened my doors and 
taken them in." 

Oh, how they glared at him, and how the threat- 
enin , scowlin* faces seemed to close round him, and 
his wife s heart almost stopped beatin ; she could 


fairly hear the report of the pistol-shot and feet the 
sharp knife of the assassin. 

When all to once his little girl, only three years 
old, who had come to church that night, she see the 
black looks and heard the muttered threats aginst her 
papa. And she slipped down unnoticed and come 
up to him, and pressed up close aginst him, and tried 
to creep up into his arms as if she wanted to protect 
him, the pretty creeter. 

He sez, " Hush, darling, you mustn t come to 

But she wouldn t go ; she made him take her up 
in his arms, and from that safe refuge she shook her 
tiny fist at the crowd, and cries out : 

You just let my papa be ; you shan t hurt my 
good papa." 

Wall, the tears je^t run down that preacher s face, 
he wuz that wrought up with divine fervor and prin 
ciples before, and this capped the sheef. 

Wall, they jest about worshipped that child, the 
hull flock did, and they loved their minister and his 
wife ; and men love bravery and admire courage, 
and they felt the power and pathos of the scene, and 
the tears stood in many a eye that had flashed with 
threatenin anger only a minute before. 

And so that storm lulled away and died down. 

(I have been leadin this horse behind the wagon, 
as it were.) Maggie told me this little incident 
afterwards (and now to hitch my horses agin where 
they belong, side by side, and in front of the mule) 

After the buildings wuz destroyed and the threats 
aginst them so awful and skairful, this poor man and 


his sick wife and child jest run for their lives ; no 
body dast to take em in ; they went from place to 
place, only to be driven away, in the peltin storm 


too, till at last they found a poor refuge in a black 
man s cabin, where the baby died the next day. 
But so bitter wuz the feelin aginst these teachers 
that this black man who took them in wuz found 


lyin dead a few days after with a bullet through his 

Finally, they succeeded in gettin to the cars and 
gettin back North, where the wife died within a 
week s time. 

And the sorrow over this loss, the exposure and 
agitation of that time, and the failure of his life plans 
jest killed that good man too. He died broken 
hearted within a year. 

All they had meant, all they had wanted wuz to 
carry out the Saviour s principle, " Carry the Gos- 
pel to every creature." 

Then why didn t they have a chance to do it ? I 
couldn t tell, nor Josiah couldn t, nor nobody. No 
wonder the tall black chimbly stood there a pintin 
up into the heavens like a great interrogation mark, 
a askin this solemn and unanswered conundrum : 

" Why evil is allowed to flourish and the good to 
be overthrown?" 

Yes. it wuz a conundrum that I couldn t get the 
right answer to ; but I thought more n probable the 
Lord could answer it, and would in His own good 

And as I looked at it I thought mebby that onbe- 
known to me, or Josiah, or anybody, that tall black 
ruin was doin a silent work in the hearts of Victor 
and Felix and many other of the young, intelligent, 
and resolute amongst this dark race. 

Felix livin , as he had, under the very shadder of 
it, so to speak, who could tell what influence it had 
in carvin this wrong down on the livin tablet of his 
heart, so it might be answered in all the work he 
might do in the future amongst his people ? 


And Victor, how often had his sad eyes rested on 
it, who knew how such an object lesson wuz strikin 
deep truths in his great heart. Bible truths such as 

" A house divided against itself cannot stand." 

And how it stood up black before him a askin 
him this everlastin and momentous question : 

" How long his people could endure such cruel 
wrong and outrage ?" 

And mebby sometimes, as the moon shone bright 
on it, it loomed up in front of him some like a pillar, 
and he heard a voice fallin out of the clear illu 
mined sky : 

44 1 have seen, I have seen the afflictions of my 
people which are in Egypt ; and lo, I am come to 
deliver them." " Get thee out of this land !" " Lo, 
I will send thee." 

But I am a eppisodin , and to resoom. 

I have only put down the heads of the old darkey s 
remarks, jest the bald heads he flowered off the sub 
ject with various metafors and many big words, not 
always in the right place, nor pronounced as the 
world s people pronounce them, but with deep ear 

And then I asked him about Eden Centre and how 
affairs had gone there. 

And he told me with more flourishes and elocution 
all the hard trials they had gone through, with perils 
from foes and perils from false friends, from igno 
rance, from avarice, and etc., etc., etc. 

It wuz deeply interestin to me and to him too, 
but finally he glanced up at the sun, and straightened 
up in the buggy-seat, and told the old mule and me 
at the same time 


" That they must hurry or they would be too late 
for the funeral." 

And I asked him where the funeral wuz to be, and 
he stood up in the rickety buggy and pinted with 
his whip to a little cluster of houses only a short dis 
tance away. 

And I made up my mind then and there that I 
would jest go acrost lots and attend to that funeral 

So I made my way through a broken place in the 
fence and sot out for the funeral. 

I got there after a short walk through the ruther 
sandy path, though some flower-besprinkled. I 
knew which wuz the mournin cabin by the mules 
and old horses hitched along the fence in front of it. 

I went in and obtained a seat near the door. It 
seemed that it wuz the funeral of a young man taken 
sick at the place where he worked and come home 
to die. He had been waiter in a hotel at Wyan- 
dotte. The mournin was evidently sincere ; cer 
tainly it wuz loud and powerful. 

The minister seemed to want to administer con 
solation to the mournin group ; his text wuz choze 
with distinct reference to it, and his words wuz 
meant to cheer. But he got his metafors mixed up 
and his consolation twisted. 

But mebby they took it all straight and right, and 
if they did it wuz all the same to them. 

His text wuz choze from the story of the child s 
death in the Old Testament, and the words wuz 
these : 

We shall go to him, but he shall not return 
to us." 


The minister wuz a short, thickset negro, with a 
high standing collar, seemin to prop up his head, 
and a benevolent look in his eyes and his good- 
natured mouth. 


He axed his eyes upon the congregation after he 
had repeated the text, and sez : 

" Gawge Perkins am daid ; he wuz a waitah at 
Wyandotte, an of cose he died." 

It seemed that to him this wuz a clear case of 
cause and effect, which he did not explain to his 

" Of cose he died. Now, dar am in dis audnance 
many no doubt dat tink dey have got riches, an 
honoh, an fame ; but Gawge Perkins am daid, an 
you have to go and see Gawge Perkins. 


"An* you may tink you are gay, an happy, an in 
high sperits ; but dis fac remains, an you can t get 
round dis fac , Gavvge Perkins am daid, an you 
have got to go and see Gawge Perkins. 

" But dar am one consolation, Gawge Perkins 
can t come back to us." 

Durin the sermon he spoke of the last day and 
the sureness of its comin , and the impossibility of 
tellin when it would come. 

" Why," sez he, " it hain t known on earth, nor in 
heaven ; de angels am not awaih of de time ; why, 
Michael Angelo himself don t know it." 

But through the whole sermon he dwelt on this 
great truth that they must all go to see George Per 
kins, and, crowning consolation, George Perkins 
could not come back to them ! 

The mourners seemed edified and instructed by 
his talk, so I spoze there wuz some subtle good and 
power in it that mebby I wuzn t good enough to 

And I have felt jest so many a time when I have 
heard a white preacher hold forth for two hours at 
a Jonesville funeral till my limbs wuz paralyzed and 
my brain reeled ; and the mourners had added to 
their other affliction, almost the num palsy. Their 
legs would go to sleep anyway, and so forget their 
troubles (the legs). 

As the colored graveyard wuz only a little ways 
from the cabin, I followed the mourners at a short 
distance, and saw George Perkins laid in the ground 
to take his long sleep, with tears and honest grief to 
hallow the spot. 

What more, sez I to myself, could an emperor 


want, or a zar? A quiet spot to rest in, and a 
place in the hearts left behind. 

After the funeral crowd had dispersed I sot down 
under a pine-tree with spreading branches, and 
thought I would rest awhile. 

And even as I sot there another funeral wended 
its way into the old yard, which did not surprise me 
so much, nor would it any deep philosopher of 
human nater. For we well know when things get 
to happenin* they will keep right on. 

Human events go by waves, as it wuz suicides, 
joys, broken dishes, griefs, visitors, etc., etc. So I 
sot there a moralizin some on the queerness of this 
world, as I see the rough coffin a bein* lowered into 
the ground. 

But one thing struck me as being singular there 
wuz no mourners to be seen. 

After a while I got up and asked a cheerful-lookin 
negro " where the mourners wuz ?" 

" Wall, misses," sez he, " I spoze I am about as 
much of a mourner as there is." 

He looked anything but mournful, but he went on : 

" I married dis ole man s stepdaughter, an con 
sequentially she died. An den dis ole man got a 
kick from a mule, an laid he flat on his back ; den he 
got his head stove in with a chimbly fallin* on it ; 
den de airysipples sot in, an* de rheumaticks, an* 
nurality, an foh years desese has jes fed on him, 
an de ultamatim of it wuz he died. An I spoze I 
am jes about as much of a mourner heah as you ll 

And sayin this, the radiant-faced mourner turned 
away and joined some 



As I turned back I met the colored preacher and 
his wife, who wuz evidently takin a short road 
home acrost the graveyard. 

She wuz a good-lookin mulatto woman, and I 


passed the time of day with her by sayin , " How do 
you do ?" and etc. 

And bein one that is always on the search for 
information, I fell into talk with her and her hus- 


band, and likin* their looks, I finally asked him what 
his name wuz. 

And he said, " My name is Mary Johnson." 

Sez I, " You mean your wife s name is Mary." 

" No," sez he, " my name is Mary." 

And then he went on and told me that he wuz the 
youngest of twelve boys, and his father wuz so mad 
at his havin been a boy that he named him, jest in 
spite, Mary. 

Wall, we had quite a good visit there, but short. 

He told me he had been a slave in his young days. 

And I asked him if his master had abused him, 
and he told me, and evidently believed every word 
he said, that his master wuz the best man this side 
of heaven. 

And sez he, " Freedom or not, I never would 
have left him, never. If he had lived," sez he, 
" I would have worked for him till I dropped 
down." And then he went on and related instances 
of his master s kindness and good-hearted gener 
osity, that made me stronger than ever in the belief 
I had always had, that there are good men and bad 
men everywhere and under all skies. 

And he told me about how, after nis master died, 
and the grand old plantation broken up, the splen 
did mansion spoiled by the contendin hosts, and 
everything dear and sacred scattered to the winds 
how his young master, the only one left of the happy 
family, had gone up North and wuz a doctor there. 

Buryin in his heart the scenes of his old happy 
life, and the overthrow of all his ambitious dreams, 
he wuz patiently workin on to make a home and a 
livelihood fur from all he had loved and lost. 


I declare for t, I most cried to hear him go on, 
and his wife joinin in now and then ; they told the 
truth, and are Christians, both on em, I hain t a 

Finally, we launched off on other subjects on re 
ligion, etc. and at the last he made a remark that 
gin me sunthin to think on all my way home to 
Belle Fanchon. 

For I give up goin to Eden Centre that day. 
Good land ! I had talked too much I am afraid it is 
a weakness with me anyway, there wuzn t any time. 

We wuz a talkin on religion, and faith, and the 
power of prayer, etc., and he sez : 

" I enjoy religion, but I have got too much con 
fidence in God." 

Sez I, " You mean you lack confidence in 

" Yes, that is it, I lack confidence in God, for I 
find that when I pray to Him for anything, if I don t 
get an answer to it to once I make other arraing- 
ments. " 

And I thought as I wended my way home, " Oh, 
how much, how much is Samantha and the hull 
human race like Mary Johnson ; we besiege the 
throne of grace for some boon heart longed for and 
dear, and if the Lord does not answer at once our 
impassioned pleadin s, we make other arraingments. 

But I am a eppisodin . 

When I got back from my walk I went into the 
kitchen to get some cool water to put some posies in 
I had picked by the way, and there sot old Aunt 
Clo , and most imegiatly after my entrance she an 
nounced to me that Rosy, her granddaughter, had 


got a little boy, and that Dan, Maggie s colored 
coachman, wuz the father of it. 

Aunt Clo did not seem to be excited in any way 
about it ; she simply told it as a bit of news, rather 
onpleasant than otherwise, as it necessitated more 
work on her part. 

As for the immorality, the wrong-doing connected 
with it, she showed no signs of feelin . 

But Maggie wuz aroused ; there wuz a pink spot 
on both cheeks when I told her about it. 

She wuz settin in her pretty room, and near her 
lay Boy asleep on some cushions on the sofa. She 
wuz readin a love letter from Thomas Jefferson, for 
he wuz away for a few days, and his letters to her 
wuz always love letters. 

There she sot in her safe and happy love-guarded 
home, by the side of Boy, whom she held clost in 
her heart because he wuz the image of her lover hus 
band, Thomas J. Allen. 

There she sot in her pretty white dress, with her 
pure, happy face the flower, so I told myself as I 
looked at her, of long years of culture and refine 
ment, and I couldn t help comparin her in my mind 
with the ignorant and onthinkin soul that another 
boy had been give to. 

But I told Maggie, for I thought I had ought to, 
and her eyes grew darker, and a red spot shone on 
both cheeks ; and sez she the first thing : 

14 Dan must marry her at once." 

Sez I, " Mebby he won t." 

" Why, he must," sez Maggie ; "it is right that 
he should ; I shall make him." 

" Wall," sez I, " you must do what you think is 


right. I am fairly dumbfounded, and don t know 
what to do," sez I. 

Maggie got up sort o quick and rung the bell, 
and asked to have Dan sent up to her room. 

And pretty soon he come in, a tall, hulkin chap, 
good-natered but utterly irresponsible, so he seemed 
to me, black as a coal. 

And Maggie laid his sins down before him as soft 
as she could and still be just, and ended by tellin 
him that he must marry Rosy. 

This seemed to astound him that she should ask 
it ; he looked injured and aggrieved. 

But Maggie pressed the point. He stood twirlin 
his old cap in his hand in silence. 

He did not deny his guilt at all, but he wuz sur 
prised at the punishment she meted out to him. 

Finally he spoke. " I tell you what, Miss Mar 
garet, it is mighty hard on a fellah if you make a 
fellah marry everybody he pays attentions to." 

He looked the picture of aggrieved innocence in 

But Maggie persisted. She told him he could 
move into a little buildin standin on the grounds ; 
and as he was fairly faithful and hard-workin , Mag 
gie thought he would get a good livin for his wife 
and son. 

"And you will love your child," sez Maggie, 
lookin down into Boy s sleepin face. 

Finally, after long arguments and persuasions on 
Maggie s part, Dan promised to marry Rosy. 

And to do him justice he did marry her in a 
week s time, and they moved into a little thatched 
cabin at the bottom of the grounds. 


Dan wuz good-natered, as I said, and a good 
coachman and gardener when he chose to work ; 
and Maggie and I took solid happiness in fittin up 
the little rooms so they looked quite pleasant and 

Rosy, as her little baby grew and thrived, mani 
fested a degree of love for it that wuz surprisin 
when one took into consideration the utter barren 
ness and poverty of the soil in which the sweet plant 
of affection grew. 

And it actually seemed as if the love she had for 
the child awakened a soul in her. Frivolous and 
empty-headed enough she wuz to be sure, but still 
there wuz an improvement in her datin from the 
hour when her baby first became a delight to her. 

Dan too grew more settled in his behavior. His 
drinkin spells, which he had always had periodi 
cally, grew further and further apart, and with the 
dignity of a father and householder added to him, it 
seemed to add cubits to his moral stature. 

Ignorant enough, and careless and onthinkin 
enough, Heaven knows, but still there wuz a change 
for the better. 

Little Snow, sweet angel that she wuz, never tired 
of flittin down the pleasant path bordered with 
glossy-leaved oleanders and magnolias, to the little 
whitewashed cottage, to carry dainties to Rosy sent 
by Maggie, and to baby Dan when he got large 
enough to comprehend her kindness. 

And it wuz a pretty sight to see Snow s rose-sweet 
face and golden curls nestlin down by baby Dan s 
little ebony countenance. 



OW true it is that though you may 
move the body round from place to 
place, you can t move round or move 
away from the emotions of the soul 
that are firm and stabled. 
You can change your climate, you can repair your 
dwellin house, you can fill your teeth and color 
your hair, but you can t make a ardent, enthusiastic 
man into a sedate and stiddy one, or chain down a 
ambitious one and make him forget his goles. 

Now, Josiah Allen had been happy as a king ever 
sence he had come South to our son s beautiful home. 
He had seemed to enjoy the change of scene, the 
balmy climate, and the freedom from care and labor. 
But that very freedom from toil, that very on- 
broken repose wuz what give him and me a sore 
trial, as you can see by the incident I will tell and 
recapitulate to you. 


You see, Josiah Allen, not havin any of his usual 
work to do, and not bein any hand to sew on fine 
sewin , or knit tattin , or embroider tidies and 
splashers, etc., he read a sight read from mornm 
till night almost. 

And with his ardent, enthusiastic nater he got 
led off "by many windy doctrines," as the text 

He would be rampant as rampant could be on first 
one thing and then another on the tariff, the silver 
bill, and silo s, and air ships, etc., etc. 

And he would air all his new doctrines onto me, 
jest as a doctor would try all his new medicines on 
his wife to see if they wuz dangerous or not. Wall, 
I spoze it wuz right, bein the pardner who took 
him for worse as well as better. 

And for family reasons I ever preferred that he 
should ventilate his views in my indulgent ear be 
fore he let em loose onto society. 

And one mornin , havin read late the night be 
fore and bein asleep when I come to bed, he begun 
promulgatin a new idee to me as he stood by the 
washstand a washin him in the early mornin sun 

He wuz full of enthusiasm and eagerness, and did 
not brook anything of the beautiful mornin scene 
that wuz spread out in the open winder before him. 

The cool, sweet mornin air a comin in through 
the clusters of climbin roses, and through the tall 
boughs of a big old orange-tree that stood between 
him and the sunshine. 

Its glossy green leaves wuz new washed by a 
shower that had fell over night, and it looked like a 


bride decked for her husband, with garlands of white 
and pink posies, and anon the round, shinm globes 
of the ripe fruit hangin like apples of gold right in 
amongst the sweet blows and green leaves. 

And way beyend the fields and orchards of Belle 
Fanchon stood the tree-crowned mountain, and the 
sun wuz jest over the top, so the pine-trees stood 
out dressed in livin green aginst the glowin sky. 

It wuz a fair seen, a fair seen. 

But my companion heeded it not. He had read 
some eloquent and powerful speech the evenin be 
fore, and his mind had started off on a new tact. 

His ambition was rousted up agin to do and to 
dare, as it had been so many times before (see ac 
counts of summer boarders, tenants, political honors, 
etc., etc., etc., etc., and so forth). 

And sez he, a holdin the towel dreamily in his 
hands, " Samantha, my mind is made up." 

I had not roze up yet, and I sez calmly from my 
piller, where I lay a drinkin in the fair mornin 
scene : 

It wuzn t a very hefty job, wuz it ?" 

Sez he, with about as much agin dignity as he had 
used before : 

You can comment on the size of my mind all 
you want to, but you will probable think different 
about the heft of it before I get through with the 
skeme I am jest about to embark on." 

And he waved the towel some like a banner and 
wiped his whiskers out in a aggressive way, and 
stood up his few hairs over his foretop in a sort of a 
helmet way, and I see by his axent and demeanors 
that he really wuz in earnest about sunthin or 


other, and I beset him to tell me what it wuz. For 
I am deathly afraid of his plans, and have been for 
some time. 

But he wouldn t tell me for quite a spell. But at 
last as he opened the chamber-door for a minute, 
and the grateful odor of the rich coffee and the ten 
der, brown steak come up from below, and wuz 
wafted into his brain and gently stimulated it, he 
sort o melted down and told me all about it. 

He wanted to jine the Pan American Congress as 
a delegate and a worker. 

Sez he, " Samantha, I want to go and be a Pan 
American. I want to like a dog." 

What for?" sez 1. What do you want to 
embark into this enterprise for, Josiah Allen ?" 

" Wall," sez he, "I will tell you what for. I want 
to enter into this project because I am fitted for it," 
sez he, "I have got the intellect for it, and I have 
got the pans." 

Wall, I see there wuz some truth in this latter 
statement. For the spring before, nuthin to do but 
Josiah had to go and get pans instead of pails to use 
in a new strip of sugar bush we had bought on. 

I wanted him not to, but he wouldn t give in. 
And of course they wuz so onhandy he couldn t use 
em much of any, and there we wuz left with our 
pans on our hands immense ones, fourteen-quart 
pans. The idee ! 

Wall, the pans wuzn t of any earthly use to us, 
only I could make a few on em come handy about 
the house, and I had give a few on em to the girls, 
Tirzah Ann and Maggie. 

And then they wuz packed away up on the store- 



*-oom shelves most seven dozen of em ; and truly, 
take them with our dairy pans, why I do spoze we had 
more pans than anybody for miles round either way. 


Wall, he wuz jest bound to go ; he said he felt a 
call. Sez he, " There is things a goin on there 
amongst them Pan Americans that ought to be broke 
up ; and," sez he, " they need a firm, noble, manly 


mind to grapple with em. Most the hull talk of all 
of em that come from different countries is about 
our pleasant relations with one another ; and they 
own up that their chief aim is to draw our relations 
closter together. Samantha, that has got to be 

And he went on with a look of stern determina 
tion onto his eyebrow that it seldom wore. 

91 No man begun life with a firmer determination 
than I did to do well by the relations on your side, 
and as for the relations on my own side, I laid out 
to jest pamper em if I had the chance ; but," sez 
he, as a gloomy shadder settled down onto his 
countenance, " enuff is enuff. I have had Lodema 
Trumble fourteen weeks at one hitch ; I have had 
Cousin Peter on my side, and Cousin Melinda Ann 
on yours, and aunts of all sorts and sizes, and have 
been grandsoned till 1 am sick on t, and uncled till I 
despise the name ; and as for cousinin , why I ve had 
em, first, and second, and third, and fourth, up to 
sixth and seventh ; I have been scolded at, com 
plained on, groaned over, and prayed at, and sung 
to, and tromboned, and pickelowed, and nagged, 
and fluted, and preached at 

Sez I sternly, " Don t you go to sayin a word 
aginst John Richard Allen, that angel man." 

" I hain t said nothin aginst that angel man, have 
I ? Dumb him, he d talk anybody to death." 

" What are you doin now, this minute, Josiah 

" I am a talkin sense, hard horse sense, and you 
know that I have been fifed, and base-drummed, and 
harrowed, and worried, and eat up, and picked to 


pieces down to my very bones by relations on both 
of our two sides, and I have stood it like a man. I 
hain t never complained one word." 

I groaned aloud here at this awful story. 

" Wall, I hain t never complained much of any. 
But when the Nation takes it in hand and wants to 
draw our relations closter and closter, then I will 
interfere. For that is their main talk and effect, 
from what I can make out from this speech," sez he, 
a pintin to a newspaper. 

" I will interfere, Samantha Allen, and you can t 
keep me from it. I will stop it if a mortal man can. 
Anyway, I will boldly wade in and tell em my har- 
rowin experience, and do all I can to break it up. 
For as I told you, Samantha Allen, I have had more 
experience with relations than any other human bein 
on the face of the globe ; I have got the intellect and 
I have got the pans." 

Oh, how I did have to talk to Josiah Allen to try 
to diswaide him from this rash enterprise ! 

Why," sez I, "this meetin hain t a goin on 
now ; you are mistook." 

But he knew he wuz in the right on t. And any 
way, he said he could tell his trials to some of the 
high officers of that enterprise and influence em. 

" I want to influence somebody, Samantha," sez 
he, " before it is too late." 

And so he kep on ; he didn t say nuthin before 
our son and daughter, but every time he would get 
me alone, whether it wuz in the seclusion of our 
bed-chamber, or in a buggy, or on the beautiful 
grounds of Belle Fanchon, then he would begin and 
talk, and talk, and talk. 


The family never mistrusted what wuz a goin on. 
Lots of times to the table, or anywhere, when the 
subject came round anywhere nigh to that that wuz 
uppermost in his brain, he would give me a wink, or 
step on my foot under the table. 


They never noticed the wink, and their feet didn t 
feel the crunch of his boot toe no, I bore it in 
silence and alone. 

For how could they see the tall mountain peaks of 
ambition that loomed up in front of that peaceful, 


bald-headed man precipitous mounts that he wuz 
in fancy scalin , with the eyes of a admirin world 
lookin up to him ? 

No ; how little can them a settin with us round 
the same table see the scenes that is passin before the 
mental vision of each. No, they can t do it; the 
human breast hain t made with a winder in it, or 
even a swing door. 

No ; I alone knew what wuz a passin and a goin 
on in that beloved breast. 

To me, as he always had, he revealed the high 
bubbles he wuz a throwin* up over his head, and 
had always throwed ever and anon, and even oftener, 
bubbles wrought out of the foamin suds of hope 
and ambition, and propelled upwards out of the long- 
stailed pipe of his fancy, floated by the gusty wind 
of his vain efforts. 

And it wuz to me he turned for comfort and 
solace when them bubbles bust over his head in a 
damp drizzle (metafor). 

But to resoom and continue on. 

He talked, and he talked, and he talked ; he said 
he wuz bound to start for Washington, D. C. 

Sez I, " Are you crazy ?" 

Sez he, " It hain t no further from here than it 
is from Jonesville, and I am needed there." 

Sez he, " I am goin there to offer my services as 
a International Delegate, as a Delegate Extraordi 
nary," sez he. 

And I sez, " I should think as much ; I should 
think you would be a extraordinary one." 

" Wall," sez he, " in national crysisses they have 
delegates by that name I have read of em." 



"Wall," sez I, "they couldn t find a more ex 
traordinary one than you are if they combed the 
hull country over with a rubber comb." 

Wall, the upshot of the matter wuz that I had to 
call in the help of Thomas Jefferson. I knew he 
wuz all in the family and would hush it up, jest as 
much as I would. 

He interfered jest as his father wuz a packin his 
portmanty to start for Washington, D. C., to offer 
his services as a extraordinary delegate, and set up 
as a Pan American. 

Thomas J. argued with his Pa for more than a 
hour. He brung up papers to convince him he wuz 
in the wrong on t. He argued deep, and bein a 
lawyer by perfession, he knew how to talk rapid and 
fluent. And finally, after a long time, by our two 
united efforts, we quelled him down, and he on- 
packed his shirt and nightcap from his portmanty 
and settled down agin into a private citizen. 

And owin to Thomas J. s efforts and mine, under 
took at once by letter (for we feared the effects of 
delay), we sold the most of them pans at a good 
price to the butter-maker up in Zoar, and a letter 
wuz writ to Ury and Philury to deliver em. 

So, some good come out of the evil of my skair 
and my pardner s skeme, 




ALL, Josiah give up and crumpled 
down along- the middle of the fore 
noon, and he looked happy as a 
king after he give up his project (it 
wuz only ambition that wuz a goarin him and a 
leadin him around). 

And he and Snow (the darlin !) had gone out a 
walkin in the grounds 

And I wuz a settin alone on the veranda by the 
side of Boy s cradle, Genieve havin gone to the 
village to get some thread 

When Victor come over on a errant. He come to 
bring a note over from Mrs. Seybert to my daughter 
Maggie, and T told him I would give it to her jest as 
soon as she returned and come back. She had gone 
out ridin with Thomas Jefferson. 

And I, feelin kinder opset and mauger through 
what I had went through with my pardner, thought 


it would sort o take up my mind and recooperate 
me to talk a little with Victor (I had always liked 
him from the first minute I see him). 

And so at my request he sot down on the veranda, 
and we had a little talk. I guess, too, he was dret- 
ful willin to talk with me, so s to sort to waste the 
time and linger till Genieve got back. 

And before some time had passed away I turned 
the conversation onto that skeme of hisen. I had 
hearn a sight about it first and last, and kinder han 
kered to-day (for reasons given prior and beforehand) 
to hear more. 

And he went on perfectly eloquent about it he 
couldn t help gettin all worked up about it every 
time he got to talkin about it ; and yet he talked 
with good sound sense, and he see all the dangers 
and difficulties in the way, and his mind wuz sot on 
the best way of surmountin and gettin over em. 

Genieve s mind wuz such she naterelly looked so 
sort o high that she couldn t see much besides the 
sun-lit glorified mountains of the high lands and the 
beauty of the Gole. 

But Victor see the rough road that led down 
through rocky defiles and through the deep wilder 
ness ; he see and counted all the lions that wuz in the 
path between this and the Promised Land, and his 
hull mind wuz sot on gettin by em and slayin em ; 
but he heard their roars plain, every one of em. 
The name of the two biggest lions that lay in the 
road ahead of him a roarin at him wuz Ignorance 
and Greed. 

One of em had black skin, black as a coal, and the 
other wuz light-complected. 


How to get by them lions wuz his first thought, for 
they lay watchin every move he made at the very 
beginnin of the road that led out to Canaan. 

The animal Ignorance wuz too gross and heavy 
and sensual to even try to get out of the path where 
it must have known it wuz in danger of bein crushed 
to death and trampled down ; it wuz too thick-head 
ed to even lift its eyes and look off into a more sun- 
lighted place ; it lay there, down in the dark mud, 
as heavy, as lifeless, as filthy as the dark soil in 
which it crouched. 

Its huge black form filled up the way ; how could 
Victor and them like him lift it up, put life and am 
bition in its big, heavy carcass, and make it move off 
and let the hosts go forward ? 

The beast Greed lifted its long neck and fastened 
its fiery eyes on Victor and his peers, and its mighty 
arms, tipped with a thousand sharp claws and 
talons, wuz lifted up to keep them back force them 
back into the prison pens of servitude. 

Victor see all this that Genieve couldn t see, not 
bein made in that way ; he see it, but, like Chris 
tian in his march to the Beautiful City, he wuz de 
termined to press forward. 

And as I sot there and looked at him and hearn 
him talk, I declare for t I got all rousted up myself 
with his project, and I felt ready, and told him so, 
to help him all I could consistently with my duties 
as a pardner and a member of the Methodist meetin 

And as I hearn him talk, I seemed to be riz up 
more and more, and able to see further than I had 
seen, and I felt a feelin that Victor wuz in the right 


on t. I thought back on how eloquent Maggie and 
I had growed on the race question, and I felt that I 
wouldn t take it back. No ; I had spoke my mind as 
things seemed to me then, and if the two races wuz 
goin to be sot down together side by side, I felt 
that the idees we had promulgated to each other 
wuz right idees ; but the more Victor talked the 
more I felt that his idees wuz right to separate the 
two races, if it wuz possible to do it. 

His talk made a deep impression onto me, and I 
went on in my mind and drew some metafors fur 
ther, it seemed to me, than I had ever drawed any, 
and eppisoded to myself more eloquent than I had 
ever eppisoded. 

I hain t one to go half way into any undertaking 
and I made up my mind then and there that if Vic 
tor and Genieve married and sot off for this colony 
in Africa, that I would set em out with a bushel of 
my best dried apples, and mebby more. And some 
dried peaches, and a dozen of them pans I thought 
they would come handy in Africa to ketch cocoanut 
milk, or sunthin . 

And I said I would give em a couple of hens in 
welcome, and a male hen and a pair of ducks, if he 
spozed he would get water enough to keep em con 
tented. Somehow I kep thinkin of the Desert of 
Sarah I couldn t seem to keep Sarah out of my 

But he said there wuz plenty of water where they 
wuz goin . And he sot and promulgated his idees 
to me for some time. And I looked on him with 
admiration and a considerable amount of deep re 


He wuz a tall, broad-shouldered, handsome feP 
low, with very courteous, winnin manners. 

He had a clear-cut, resolute face, and silky brown 
hair that fell down over a broad white forwerd, and 
a mustache of the same color. 

His eyes would fairly melt sometimes, and be soft 
as a woman s, and then agin they would look you 
through and through and seem to be piercin through 
the hull dark path ahead out into the light of safety. 

And his lips, that wuz resolute and firm enough 
sometimes, could anon, or oftener, grow tremulous 
with feelin and eloquence. 

He wuz a earnest Christian, a professor of religion, 
and, what is fur better, a practicer of the same. 

He give his idees to me in full that day in con 
fidence (and a desire to linger till Genieve got back). 

Some of these idees he got from Genieve, some 
on em he learned from books, and kindred minds, 
and close observation, and remembrance of talks he 
had hearn when such things sunk deep in his heart, 
and some on em sprung up from seeds God had 
planted in his soul, onbeknown to him ; in a woman 
we call it intuition. 

But anyway, no matter by what name we call 
these seeds, they lay in the soul till the Sun of Oc 
casion warms em into life, and then they open their 
star flowers and find the way to the Right and the 

To Victor the welfare of his mother s people lay 
nearer to his heart than even Genieve, much as he 
loved her than his own life, sacred as he held it, 
holding, as he believed it did, a mission for humanity. 

It wuz his idee to transplant the Africans to some 


place where they could live out their full lives with 
out interference or meddlin with from another peo 
ple, that must, in the nature of things, be always an 
alien race and one opposed to the black race instinc 
tively and beyend remedy. 

I see jest how it wuz ; I see that nobody, no mat 
ter how strong you should fix the medicine and how 
powerful the doses you might give, could cure this 
distemper, this instinctive, deep-rooted feelin of 
antipathy and repulsion towards the negro. 

I see that no amount of pills and plasters wuz a 
goin to make the negro feel free and easy with the 
white race. 

There is a deep-rooted difference of opinion, and 
difference of feelin , difference of aims, and desires, 
and everything between the two races. 

It is as deep down as creation, and as endless as 
eternity, and can t be doctored, or tackled up in any 
way and made to jine and become one. 

It can t be did, so there is no use in tryin . 

And any amount of flowery speeches or proclama 
tions, or enactments, or anything, hain t a goin to 
amalgamate the two races and make em blend into 
another and be a hull one. 

No ; a law may contain every big law word, and 
" to wit" and " be it enacted" and every clause that 
ever wuz claused, and every amendment that wuz 
ever amended, but it hain t a goin to make any 
difference with this law that wuz made in a higher 
court than any they have in Washington, D. C. 

And a speech may contain the hull floral tribe, all 
the flowers that wuz ever heard on ; it may soar up 
in eloquence as fur up as anybody can go, and 


dwindle down into pathos as deep as ever wuz 

But it is a goin to blow over the subject jest like 
any whiff of wind ; it hain t a goin to do the job of 
makin the two races come any nigher to each other. 

Why, you see when anybody is a tryin to do this, 
he hain t a fightin aginst flesh and blood only, the 
real black and white flesh of the present, but he is a 
fightin aginst principalities and powers, the powers 
of the long kingdom of the past, the viewless but 
unfightable principalities of long centuries of con 
centrated opinions and hereditary influences, the 
ingrained contempt and scorn of the superior race 
towards the inferior in any other condition only servi 
tude the inbred feelin s of slavery, of lookin up with 
a blended humility and hatred, admiration and envy, 
into the face of the dominant race. 

The race difference lays like a gulf between the 
two people. You can t step over it, your legs hain t 
long enough ; you can t bridge it over, there hain t 
no boards to be found strong enough ; there it yawns, 
a deep gulf, and always will between the two races. 

And when the Nation expected to jine these two 
forces and hitch em side by side to the car of free 
dom by a piece of paper with writin on it, expect- 
in* they would draw it along easy and stiddy, that 
wuz the time the Nation wuz a fool. 

It would be jest as reasonable to hitch a wild lion 
from the jungles by the side of a sheep, and set em 
to drawin the milk to the factory. 

They might expect that if the team got to the fac 
tory at all, the sheep would be inside of the lion, 
and the milk too. 


It won t do no good to go too hard aginst Nater. 
She is one, Nater is, that can t be went aginst not 
with any safety. 

Mebby after centuries of trainin and education, 
the lion might be learnt to trot along by the side 
of the sheep and dump the milk out all right at the 
factory door. But centuries after this had been 
done, the same instinctive race war would be a goin 
on between the black people and the white. 

You cannot make a soap-stun into a runnin vine, 
or a flat-iron blossom out with dewy roses, or a 
thistle bear pound sweet apples it can t be done, 
no matter how hard you work, or how pure your 
motives are. 

So these things bein settled and positive, Victor 
thought and I ll be hanged if I could blame him for 
thinkin that the sooner his people got into a place 
of their own, away from the white race that had 
fettered them, and they had fettered so long, the 
better it would be for them. 

He reasoned it out like this : " The Anglo-Saxons 
wuz here before we wuz, and they are a powerful 
nation of their own. They won t go ; so what re 
mains but to take ourselves away, and the sooner 
the better," he thought. 

He had read, as I said, many books on the sub 
ject ; but of all the books he had read, Stanley s de 
scription of some parts of Africa pleased him best. 

He shrank from takin his people into a colder cli 
mate ; he had read long and elaborate arguments as 
to what cold wuz to do in changiri and improvin 
the African. 

Put his common sense taught him that the Lord 


knew better than the authors of these tracts as to 
what climate wuz best for His people. 

He felt that it wuz useless to graft a pomegranate 
or a banana bush onto the North Pole. He felt that 
it wouldn t do the pole any good, and the grafts 
would freeze up and drop off why, they would 
have to, they couldn t help it, and the pole couldn t 
help it either the pole had to be froze, it wuz 
made so. 

So he never had favored the colonization of his 
race in the colder Western States. 

Nor had he quite liked the idee of their findin a 
new home in the far South or in South America. 

They would be still in an alien land, alien races 
would press clost aginst em. 

No, a home in Africa pleased him best in that 
land the Lord had placed the black people it wuz 
their home accordin to all the laws of God and man. 

And if it hadn t been the best place for em, if 
they hadn t been fitted by nater for that climate, 
why he reasoned it out that they wouldn t have 
been born there in the first place. 

He didn t believe God had made a mistake ; he 
didn t believe He could. 

Why, way down in the dark earth there never wuz 
known to be any mistake made, a wheat seed never 
sprung up into a cowcumber, a lily seed never 
blowed out into a daffodil. 

No, there seemed to be a eternal law that pre 
vented all mistakes and blunders. 

And havin sot down the black man in Africa, 
Victor felt that it wuz pretty sure to be the right and 
best place for him. 


Stanley said that there wuz room enough in one 
section of the Upper Congo basin to locate double 
the number of negroes in the United States, without 
disturbin a single tribe that now inhabits it ; that 
every one of these seven million negroes might be 
come owner of nearly a quarter square mile of land. 
Five acres of this planted with bananas and plantains 
would furnish every soul with sufficient food and 

The remainder of the twenty-seven acres of his 
estate would furnish him with timber, rubber, gums, 
dye stuffs, etc., for sale. 

There is a clear stream every few hundred yards, 
the climate is healthy and agreeable. 

Eight navigable rivers course through it. Hills 
and ridges diversify the scenery and give magnificent 

To the negroes of the South it would be a re 
minder of their own plantations without the swamps 
and depressin influence of cypress forests. 

Anything and everything might be grown in it, 
from the oranges, guavas, sugar-cane ar.d cotton of 
sub-tropical lands, to the wheat of California and the 
rice of South Carolina. 

If the emigration wuz prudently conceived and 
carried out, the glowin accounts sent home by the 
first settlers would soon dissipate all fear and reluc 
tance on the part of the others. 

But to make this available, it would have to be 
undertaken at once, says Stanley. For if it hain t 
taken advantage of by the American negro, the rail 
ways towards that favored land will be constructed, 
steamers will float on the Congo, and the beautiful 


forest land will be closed to such emigration by the 
rule, first come first served. 

And then this beautiful, hopeful chance will be 
lost forever. 

Victor read this, and more, from Stanley s pen, 
and felt deeply the beautiful reasonableness of the 

With all the eloquence of which he vvuz master he 
tried to bring these facts home to his people, and 
tried to arouse in them something of his own en 

As for himself he wuz bound to go as teacher, as 
missionary, as leader as soon as he could ; his moth 
er s health wuz failing his unhappy mistress needed 
him sorely his preparations wuz not all completed 

There wuz several hundred young, intelligent 
negroes, most of them with families, who wuz work- 
in hard to get the money Victor thought would be 
necessary for a successful venture. 

For besides the cost of transportation, Victor 
wanted them to be placed beyend the possibility of 
sufferin and hardship while they wuz preparin their 
land for cultivation. 

But I sez, " Most probable this Nation will fit out 
some ships and carry you back to your old home." 
Sez I, " More than probable Uncle Sam wilt be glad 
of the chance to pay some of his debts, and clear 
the slate that hangs up behind the Capitol door, of 
one of the worst and meanest debts it ever had 
ciphered out on it, and held up aginst him." 

But Victor smiled ruther sadly and looked duber- 


He thought after the colony there wuz a assured 
success, thousands and thousands would go with 
their own money and help poorer ones to new homes 
there ; but he didn t seem to put much dependence 
on Uncle Samuel s ever hitchin up his steamships 
and carryin em over. 

But I sez real warmly, for I cannot bear any 
animyversions aginst that poor old man (only what I 
make myself in the cause of Duty) sez I, " You 
wrong Uncle Samuel ;" sez I, " You ll find out that 
he will brace up and do the right thing if the case is 
presented to him in the right light, and he brings his 
spectacles to bear on it. 

" Why," sez I, "if I borry a cup of tea of Miss 
Gowdey, do I spoze that she will trapise over to my 
house after it? and the same with flat-irons, press- 
boards, bluin bags, etc. 

14 No, I carry em back agin, honorable. 

" And if Josiah Allen borrys a plough or a fannin 
mill, do you spoze he expects the neighborin men 
he borrys em of to harness up and come after em ? 
No, he carries em back. 

" And how much more would he feel obligated if he 
had stole em, and me too ; why we should expect to 
carry em back, or else get shot up, and good 
enough for us. 

" Now," sez I, " you and your people wuz stole 
from Africa by Uncle Samuel, or, I don t spoze the 
old man did the stealin with his own hands, but he 
stood by and see it done and winked at it, and 
allowed it ; and so, he is responsible, bein the head 
of the family. 

" And if that old man ever calculates to make any 



appearance at all before the nations of the earth, if 
he ever calculates to neighbor with em to any ad 
vantage, he will jest carry them stolen creeters back 
and put em down onharmed on the sile he dragged 
em from. 

" Good land ! it won t be no job for him ; it won t 
be no more for him than it would for my companion 
to take back a hen he had borryed from Deacon 
Huffer up to Zoar or stole from him, I spoze I ort 
to say, in order to carry out the metafor as metafors 
ort to be carried." 

I sez this in a real enthusiastic axent, and a very 
friendly one too towards Uncle Samuel ; for I love 
that noble-minded but sometimes misguided old 
creeter I love him dearly. 

But Victor smiled agin that sort of a amused 
smile, and yet a sort of a sad one too. And sez he : 

" I am afraid this Nation has not got your sense 
of honor." 

He couldn t help, I see, a kinder wishin that the 
Government would brace up and take over a few 
cargoes of em. 

But he wuz dubersome. 

But anyway he wuz bound they should get there 
some way. And I had a feelin , as I looked at him, 
that the dark waves in front of him would part some 
way, and he would pass over into the light, he and 
his race. 

Wall, jest about as he finished up his idees to me, 
Genieve come in lookin as pretty as a pink, and I 
got up and carried the thread into the house, willin 
to leave em alone for a little while, and I spoze I 
spoze they wuz willin to have me go. 


Yes, I hadn t forgot what courtship wuz, when 
Josiah Allen come over to see me, sheepish but 

And I remember well how he would brighten up 
when Mother Smith would be obleeged to go out to 
get supper, or to strain the milk, or sunthin or 

No, I hain t forgot it, and most probable never 

<" <,>, 



ITTLE Snow wuz always askin about 
the little girl who wuz a lyin un 
der the white cross and the rose- 
trees down in the corner of the gar 
den at Belle Fanchon. 

And she would ask me sights of 
questions about her. She would ask " if Belle 
Fanchon used to walk about and run as she did 
through the paths of the old garden, and pick the 
roses, and stand under the orange-trees, and hear 
the birds sing, and the laugh of the brook as it 
wound along amongst the flowers ?" 
And I would say, " Yes, I spoze so." 
And then she would say, " What made her leave 
it all and go and lie down there under the grass ?" 
And I would say, " The Lord wanted her." 
And she would say, " Will He want me ?" 
And I would hold her clost to my heart, and say, 
" Oh, no, darlin , Grandma hopes not, not for a 


long, long time, not till these old eyes are closed 
many and many a year," I would say. 

" But if He should want me," she would go on to 
say earnestly, " I want to lie down by the little girl 
in the garden. She wouldn t be so lonesome then 
in dark nights, would she, if she had another little 
girl close by her ?" 

And then she would go on and describe it to me 
in her own pretty language : How when the moon 
shone silver bright and the shadows lay long and 
white over the little girl s grave like a big, lovin 
hand, it would cover em both, and how on warm, 
sunshiny mornin s the birds would sing to both of 
em, and the roses and tall lilies bend down over 
both, and the rivulet would talk to em as it went 
dancin by, and 

" Don t talk so, darlin ," I would say, " Grandma 
don t love to hear you." 

And then mebby she would see the shadow on 
my face, and she would put up her little hand in that 
tender caress that wuz better than kisses, lay it on 
my cheek, and brush my hair back, and then touch 
my cheek agin. 

And mebby the very next minute she would be a 
askin* me some deep question about Jack the Giant 
Killer or the Sleepin Beauty. 

She had a very active mind, very. 

And she wuz a beautiful child. Josiah said, and 
said well, that she went fur beyend anything on the 
globe for beauty, and smartness, and goodness. 
And Josiah Allen is a excellent judge of children, 

But, as I wuz a sayin , Snow loved to talk about 


the little girl who had been mistress of this pretty 
place so long ago. She talked about her a sight. 
And if she had her way she would always go there 
to play, by the little grave carry her dollies down 
there Samantha Maggie Tirzah Ann, and the hull 
caboodle of em she had as many as fourteen of 
em, anyway and her dolls cradles, and wagons, 
and everything. And she wuz never so happy as 
when she wuz settled down there in that corner. 

Wall, it wuz pleasant as it could be. How clost 
the little rivulet did seem to hold the child s grave 
in its dimpled arm, and its song never said to me : 

" My arm is warm and faithful, and is reaching 
out and reaching out to fold it round another of the 
nearest ones and dearest, and guard it, hold it safe 
ly from danger and from trouble." 

No, I never heard this in its song, and I never 
heard any undertone of pity for hearts that would 
break with a new grief. 

No, I only heard low murmurs of compassion in 
its liquid tones for the achin hearts that had bent 
over this one little grave long ago. 

But the trees always did seem to cast greener, 
softer shadows here, and the sunshine and moon 
light to rest more lovingly on it than on any other 
spot in the hull grounds. And I didn t wonder at 
all at little Snow s fancy for it. 

Oh, what a judgment that child showed in every 
thing it was a sight ! 

One mornin I wuz a settin out on the veranda, 
and I see her as usual a settin out for that corner, 
Snow with her arms full of toys, and Genieve wheel- 
in Boy in his cart, and the front of that full of 


Snow s babies settin up stiff and straight, a starin 
back with their round, blank eyes at Boy s pretty, 
laughin face. 

It wuz a lovely mornin . 

The dew sparkled on the grass, and the walks of 
white shinin shells which had been washed clean 
by a brisk, short rain the night before, shone white 
and silvery through the fresh, green grass borderin 
em on each side. 

And the trees tosted out their shinin green 
branches, and the glossy-leaved shrubs shook out 
their sweet-scented flowers on the balmy air. 

The climbin roses bloomed out sweet and pink, 
the orange-trees gleamed with the round globes of 
gold, and anon clusters of posys amongst the shinin 
green leaves. 

It wuz a fair seen, a fair seen. 

And I sot enjoyin it to the full, and as is the de 
praved and curius nater of men and wimmen, a enjoy- 
in it still more as I turned to it from the pages of a 
voluminous letter I had jest got and received from 

Yes, as I read of the snow piles, and the dirty 
slosh of snow and mud that the Jonesvillians had to 
wade through under gray skies and cotton umberells, 
I sot with a deeper gratitude and a happier frame to 
my mind under the clear blue skies of the balmy 
South land, amongst the beauties and summer fra 
grance of Belle Fanchon. 

There wuz another letter I hadn t read yet a lay- 
in in my lap, and my joyful meditation and my 
comparisons that I had drawed, and drawed so fur, 
had took my mind from it. 


But anon, as I turned back from the sight of Mag 
gie and Thomas Jefferson a ridin off through the 
sunshine towards the depot, T took up the other >et- 


ter, and as I opened it I involuntarily uttered them 
words which have sounded out from my lips in so 
many crysisses of joy or pain. I sez : 


" Good land ! good land !" 

The letter wuz from John Richard Allen, writ for 
him by a friend. It seems that he had seen in the 
village paper that we wuz in the South and where 
we wuz ; and he lay sick and a dyin , as they said, 
in a little hamlet not a dozen miles away. 

I read the letter, and then went imegiatly for to 
think and to act is but a second or third nater to 
me and waked up my pardner, who was stretched 
out on a bamboo couch on the other end of the 
piazza fast asleep, with the Worlds lay in outstretched 
and abject at his feet. And I then told him the 
startlin truth that his own relation on his own side 
lay sick unto death less than a dozen miles from us. 

Wall, that noble man riz right up as I would have 
had him rozen to meet the exigencies of the occasion. 

He sez, " The minute our children get back we 
will take the pony and drive over and see him." 

As I said, they had gone to the depot to meet 
visitors from Delaware a very distinguished cousin 
of Maggie s on her own side, who had writ that he 
wuz a goin to pass through here on his way further 
South, and he would stop off a day or two with em 
he and his little boy, if it wuz agreeable to them. 

I had hearn a sight about this rich Senator Cole- 
man Maggie s father, old Squire Snow, wuz dret- 
ful proud of him. 

He had made himself mostly or, that is, had fin 
ished himself off. 

He went to Delaware as a teacher, and married a 
Miss Fairfax, a very rich young woman down there, 
settled down in her home, went into business, got 
independent rich, wuz sent to Congress and Senate, 


and had a hand in makin all the laws of his State, so 
I hearn. 

He wuz now takin a tower through the Southern 
States with his motherless boy, little Raymond Fair 
fax Coleman, so he writ (he thought his eyes on him, 
and jest worshipped the memory of his wife). 

Maggie and Thomas J. had met him in Washing 
ton the winter before, and they sort o took to each 
other. And so he wuz a goin to stop off a few days 
with em. 

Wall, that program of Josiah Allen s wuz carried 
out to the very letter. When Thomas J. and Mag 
gie come back (the Senator didn t come, he wuz de 
layed, and sent a telegram he should be there in a 
week or two), we sot off, a preparin to come back 
the next day if John Richard wuz better, but a lay- 
in out to stay several days if necessary. 

We took clothes and things, and I a not forgettin , 
you may be sure, a bottle full of my far-famed spig- 
nut syrup. 

Maggie see that we had a early dinner but a good 
one, and we sot sail about one o clock Snow a rid- 
in with us as fur as we dasted to take her, and a 
walkin back agin, watched by her Ma from the gate. 

Thomas J. and Maggie told us to bring John 
Richard right back with us if he wuz well enough 
to come, and they would help take care of him. 

Wall, we got to the picturesque little place called 
Howletts Bridge about four o clock, and imegiatly 
made inquiries for the relation on his side, and found 
out where he wuzstayin . 

He wuz boardin with a likely Methodist Episcopal 
couple, elderly, and poor but well-principled. 


And indeed we found him sick enough. 

Miss Elderkin that wuz the folkses name he wuz a 
boardin with, good creeters as I ever see, if they 
wuz Southerners, and aristocratic too, brung down 
by loss of property and etc. she told me that 
Cousin John Richard had been comin down with 
this lung difficulty for years overwork, and hard 
fare, and neglect of his own comfort makin his sick 
ness harder and more difficult to manage. 

Sez she, "He is one of the saints on earth, if 
there ever was one." 

And her husband said the same thing, which I 
felt that I could indeed depend upon, for as a gen 
eral thing men don t get so diffuse a praisin up each 
other, and callin each other angels and saints, etc., 
and men hain t drawed away by their pities and 
their sympathies so easy as wimmen be, nor drawed 
so fur. 

Wall, Mr. Elderkin put our pony in the barn, and 
she made us comfortable with a cup of tea and some 
toast with a poached egg on top of it. And then we 
went in to see the patient. 

He wuz layin in a front room, ruther bare-lookin , 
for the Elderkins wuz poor enough so fur as this 
world s goods go, but rich in the spirit. 

And the bare floor, and whitewashed walls, and 
green paper curtains looked anything but luxurious, 
but everything wuz clean. 

And on a clean, poor bed lay the relation on his 

He looked wan wanner fur than I expected to 
see him look, though I wuz prepared lor wanness. 
His cheeks wuz fell in, and his eyes wuz holler, but 


bright still with that glowin fire that always seemed 
to be built up in em. But the light of that fire 
seemed to be a burnin down pretty low now. And 
he looked up and see us and smiled. 

It wuz the smile of a homesick child fur away to 
school, when he sees his own folks a comin towards 
him in the school-room. 

Poor John Richard ! His school wuz hard, his 
lessons had been severe, but he had tried to learn 
em all jest as perfect as he could, and the Master 
wuz pleased with his work. 

But now he wuz sick. He wuz a sick man. 

As I said, he smiled as he see Josiah and me ad- 
vancin onto him, and he held out his weak hands, 
and took holt of ourn, and kep em in hisen for 
some time, and sez he : 

" I am glad glad to see you." 

He wuz interrupted anon, and even oftener, by his 
awful cough and short, painful breathin . But he 
gin us to understand that he wuz dretful glad to see 
us once more before he passed away. 

He wuzn t afraid to die no, indeed ! There 
wuz a deep, sweet smile in his eyes, and his lips 
seemed to hold some happy and divine secret as he 
sez : 

" I am glad to go home ; I am glad to rest." 

But I sez in a cheerful axent, " Cousin John 
Richard, you hain t a goin to die ;" sez I, " By the 
help of God and my good spignut syrup I believe 
you will be brung up agin." 

But he shet up his eyes. And I see plain, by the 
look of his face, that though he wuz willin to live 
and work if it wuz God s will, he wuz still more 



ready to depart and be with Christ, which he felt 
would be fur better. 

But it wuzn t my way to stand and argue with a 
sick man back and forth as to whether he wuz a 
goin to die or not. 

No, I laid to, helped by my trusty Josiah. And 


in an hour s time we see a difference in his breathin , 
and anon he fell into a sweet sleep. 

And when he waked up that man looked and acted 
better. And three days and nights did we stay by 
him, a doctorin him up and a gettin him nourishin 
things to eat, and a talkin encouragin and pleasant 


things to him (good land ! the soul and mind has 
got to be fed as well as the body if you don t want 
to starve to death inwardly). And lo and behold ! 
when we left Howletts Bridge and returned to Belle 
Fanchon, who should accompany us thither but 
Cousin John Richard Allen ! 

He had consented, after a deep parley, to go there 
and rest off for a few weeks. 

Maggie and Thomas J. took to him from the very 
first, and give him a hearty welcome and the best 
bedroom. They appreciated the noble, martyrous 
life he had led, and honored him for it. 

And the children acted dretful tickled to see him. 
You needn t tell me but what Boy knew all about it 
when I introduced Cousin John Richard to him. 
To be sure, he wuzn t only six months old. 

But if he didn t know him, and if he wuzn t glad 
to see the relation on his grandmother s side, what 
made him laugh all over his face, eyes and all ? 

I presume the Doctor would have called it 
" wind." But I called it perfect courtesy and good 
manners towards a honored and onexpected guest. 
That is what I called it. He acted like a perfect 
little gentleman, and I wuz proud of him. 

Snow, the sweet darlin , went right up to him, 
with her little snowflake of a hand held out in a 
warm welcome, and kissed him jest as she did her 
Grandpa. Oh, what a child what a child for be 
havior ! I never see her equal, and don t expect 
to nor josiah don t either. 

Wall, Cousin John Richard jest settled down in 
that sweet, lovin home into a perfect, happy rest 
to all appearances and gained every day. 


Victor and Genieve thought everything of him 
from the first time they laid eyes on him. And they 
couldn t do enough for him seemingly. They had 
heard about his life and labor amongst their own 
people, and they tried in every way to show their 
gratitude and affection. 

Victor and he talked together for hours, and so 
did he and Genieve about the plans for the colony. 
And first I knew, Cousin John Richard told Josiah 
and me that he had made up his mind to go with 
them to Africa. 

The Doctor had told him that a long sea voyage 
would be the best of anything for his lungs. And 
so, as he wuz bound to spend his life for this people, 
I couldn t see, and Josiah couldn t, why it shouldn t 
be in Africa as well as America, specially as he had 
a better chance to live by goin there. 

And so we gin our consents in our own minds, 
and showed our two willingnesses to him, and the 
matter wuz settled. 

He had only two children left now, and they wuz 
married and settled down in homes of their own, 
and in a good business. So he had no hamperin 
ties to bind him to this land. And he felt that the 
Lord wuz a pintin out to him the path of Duty over 
the sea. 

And I wuzn t the one to dispute him no, indeed ! 
And I felt that his calm good sense and undaunted 
Christian spirit and Gospel teachings would be a per 
fect boon to the colony. 

So it wuz settled. And T imegiatly went to work, 
Maggie and I, to make him a full dozen of shirts, 
twelve day ones and six nights. 


And we prepared him a better assortment of socks 
and handkerchiefs, and collars, and cuffs, and such 
than he had ever dremp of, I ll venture to say, sence 
he lost his companion, anyway. 

Wall, it wuzn t more n several days after this that 
the relation of Maggie s Senator Coleman bein 
sot free from hampers, writ agin, and also tele- 


grafted, that he would be at the station that day at 
five o clock. 

So, Maggie and Thomas J. rid over agin, and bein 
luckier this time, they come a ridin back in due 
time with her relation a settin up by her side, big 
as life, and the boy, Raymond Fairfax Coleman, a 
settin on the front seat by Thomas Jefferson. 

The boy s name seemed bigger than he vvuz, bein 
a little, pale runt of a child with long, silky hair and 
a black velvet suit dretful small for his age, about 


seven years old. But I spoze his long curls of light 
hair and his lace collar made him seem younger, 
and his childish way of talkin he had been babied 
a good deal I could see. And when he would fix his 
big blue eyes on you with that sort of a confidin , 
perplexed, childish look in em, I declare for t he 
didn t look so old as Boy. 

But he wuz seven years old, so his Pa told me. 

His Pa wuz as big and important- lookin as Ray 
mond wuz insignificant. And I sez to Josiah the first 
chance I got, out to one side, sez I : 

I ve hearn a sight from old Judge Snow about 
this relation of hisen bein a self-made man ;" and 
sez I, "If he did make himself, he did up the job in 
quite a good shape, didn t he ?" 

Josiah can t bear to have me praise up any man, 
married or single, bond or free, only jest himself, 
and he sez : 

" If I had made him I would have put in some 
improvements on him. I wouldn t have had him so 
cussed big feelin for one thing." 

I wuz deeply mortified to hear him use that 
wicked word, and told him so. 

But I couldn t help seein that Josiah wuz right in 
thinkin Senator Coleman wuz proud and high-head 
ed, for truly he wuz. His head wuz right up in the 
air, and he sort o leaned back when he walked, and 
over his portly stomach hung a glitterin watch-chain 
that he sort o fingered and played with as he walked 
about, and he had some diamonds a flashin* on his 
little finger, and his shirt-front, and cuffs. 

His eyes wuz a bright blue and as bold and pierc- 
in looking as Raymond s wuz gentle and helpless, 



and his mustache and short hair wuz a sort of a iron 
gray ; and his face bein florid and his features good, 
he made a handsome appearance ; and Maggie, I 



could see, wuz quite proud of the relation on her 

Wall, we had a good warm supper all ready for 


em, Maggie s cook bein sort o helpless that day 
with a jumpin toothache (it jumped worse after 
Maggie went away and she see in me a willingness 
to help her get supper). 

I laid holt and got the most of the supper myself, 
and it wuz a good one, if I hadn t ort to say it. 

Two plump spring fowls roasted to a delicate 
brown, some sliced potatoes warmed up in cream, 
some hot cream biscuit ; and I had splendid luck 
with em they wuz jest as light and flaky and tender 
as they could be. And some perfectly delicious 
coffee. I thought the fragrance of that coffee would 
steam up invitingly into Senator Coleman s nostrils, 
after a hard day s journey. 

And if the relation had been on Thomas Jeffer 
son s side T couldn t have set out to do better by 
him ; I am good to my daughter-in-law anybody 
will tell you so that has seen me behave to her. 

Aunt Mela, the cook, by bendin all her energies 
onto em, had made a tomato salad and some veal 
croquettes. I hain t partial to em, but want every 
body to be suited in the line of vittles, and Maggie 
loves em. 

And then on the sideboard wuz cake, and jellies, 
and fresh berries heaped up in crimson beauty on 
some china plates, and the table had posys on it and 
looked well. 

The cook s teeth stopped achin about the time the 
supper wuz all ready it seemed to give its last hard 
jump about the time I made the biscuit. I had pro 
posed to have her make em, but I see it wouldn t do. 

Wall, Maggie wuz delighted with the supper, and 
her relation eat more than wuz good for him, I 


wuz afraid five wuz the number of the biscuit he 
consumed (they wuzn t so very large), and three cups 
of coffee kep em company. 

Maggie told him who made em, and he compli 
mented me so warmly (though still high-headed) 
that Josiah looked cross as a bear. 

Wall, the Senator seemed to like it at Belle Fan- 
chon first rate ; and as for Raymond Fairfax Cole- 
man, he jest revelled in the warm home atmosphere 
and the lovin attentions that wuz showered down 
onto him. 

Poor little motherless creeter ! He played with 
Snow, lugged her dolls round for her, and dragged 
Boy in his little covered carriage, and seemed to be 
jest about as much of a baby as our Boy. 

If you think our boy didn t have any other name 
than Boy, there is where you are mistaken. His 
name wuz Robert Josiah from his birth after his 
two grandpas ; but Thomas Jefferson wuz so pleased 
to think he wuz a boy that he got in the habit of 
callin him Boy, and we all joined in and followed 
on after him, as is the habit of human bein s or 
sheep. You know how the him reads : 

" First a daughter and then a son, 
Then the world is well begun." 

I spoze Thomas J. had this in mind when he wuz 
so tickled at the birth of Boy. 

But howsomever and tenny rate, we all called him 
Boy. And he knew the name, and would laugh and 
dimple all over in his pretty glee when we would 
call him. 

Wall, I would take little Raymond up on my lap, 


and tell him stories, and pet him, and Maggie would 
mother him jest as she would Snow, and we wuz 
both on us sorry for him as sorry could be to think 
of his forlorn little state. 

Riches, and fame, and even his big name couldn t 
make up for the loss of the tender counsels and 
broodin love of a mother. 

His father jest thought his eyes on him. But he 
couldn t seem to stop fumblin that watch-chain of 
hisen, and stop a talkin them big words, and de 
scend from his ambitious plans of self-advancement 
to come down to his little boy s level and talk to him 
in a lovin* way. 

Little Raymond looked up to his Pa with a sort 
of a admirin awe, jest about as the Jonesville chil 
dren would to the President. 

I believe Senator Coleman had ambitions to be 
one. I believe my soul he did. Anyway, his am 
bitions wuz all personal. Havin made himself so 
fur, he wuz bound to put all the adornin s and em- 
bellishin s onto his work that he could. 

I see that he wanted to be made President to 
once, and the thought that the nation wouldn t do it 
rankled in him. 

And the fear that somebody else wuz a goin to 
get higher than he wuz in political life wore on him. 

His sharp, piercin eyes wuz a watchin the ever- 
shiftin horizon of our national affairs, the ever- 
changin winds of public favor, hopin* they would 
blow him up into greater prominence, fearin they 
would dash him down into a lower place. 

The feverishness of perpetual onrest seemed to be 
a burmV him all the time, and the fear that hf? 


should do or say sunthin to incur the displeasure 
of the multitude. 

What a time, what a time he wuz a havin ! 

You could see it all in his linement ; yes, ambi 
tion and selfishness had ploughed lots of lines in his 
handsome face, and ploughed em deep. 

I used to look at him and then at Cousin John 
Richard Allen, and contrast the two men in my 
own mind, and the contrast wuz a big and hefty 

Now, Cousin John Richard s face wuz peaceful 
arid serene, though considerable worn-lookin . He 
had gin his hull life for the True and Right, had 
gone right on, no matter how much he wuz misunder 
stood and despised of men, and labored in season 
and out of season for the poor and downtrodden of 
earth, without any hope of earthly reward nay, 
with the certainty of the world s contempt and criti 

But the blame or praise of the multitude seemed 
so fur off to him that he could scarcely hear it ; the 
confusin babble seemed to him only like a distant 
murmurous background for the close voice of the 
Master, who walked with him, and told him what to 
do from day to day and from hour to hour. 

" Blessed are ye if ye hear my voice." 

Ye that are strong, bear the burdens of the 

" If ye love me feed my lambs." 

" And lo, I am with you to the end of the world." 

These wuz some of the words Cousin John Rich 
ard heard, and his face shone as he listened to em. 

He had not sent out his ships on earthly waters ; 



and so, let the winds blow high or the winds blow 
low, he did not fear any tempestuous waves and 
storms reachin their sails. 

No, he had sent his ships into a safer harbor ; they 
wuz anchored in that divine sea where no storms 
can ever come. 

And his face wuz calm with the heavenly calm 
ness and peace of that sure harbor, that waveless 

Wall, the relation on Maggie s side seemed to 
take a good deal of comfort a walkin round with 
his head up and his hand a playin with that heavy 
gold chain. 

Good land ! I should have thought he would 
have wore it out he would if it hadn t been made 
of good stuff. 

And he would converse with Thomas Jefferson 
about political matters, and talk some with my 
Josiah and Cousin John not much with the latter, 
because they wuzn t congenial, as I have hinted at ; 
and Cousin John Richard seemed to take as much 
agin comfort a bein off with the children, or a lay- 
in in the green grass a watchin the butterflies, or a 
talkin with Genieve and Victor. 

And the Senator would compliment Maggie up to 
the skies. He wuz more n polite to females, as is 
the way with such men ; and he v/ould write letters 
by the bushel, and get as many of em or more, and 
telegrams, and such. And little Raymond, poor lit 
tle creeter, I believe took more comfort than he had 
before for some time. 

He wuzn t very deep, as I could see, he didn t act 
over and above smart ; but then, I sez to myself real 


ironikle, mebby this dulness is caused by lookin at 
the sun so much (his Pa used as a metafor). 

And then what could you expect of a child of 
seven ? he wuzn t much more n a baby. Good land ! 
I used to hold Thomas Jefferson in my lap and baby 
him till he wuz nine or ten years old, and his legs 
dragged on the floor, he wuz so tall. 

I thought like as not Raymond Fairfax Colernan 
would take a turn after a while and live up to the 
privileges of his name and be quite smart. 

He took a great fancy to Rosy s baby, and it was 
as cunnin a little black image as I ever see, jest a 
beginnin to be playful and full of laugh. 

Raymond would carry it down candy and oranges, 
and give him nickels and little silver pieces to put 
into his savings-bank. 

I gin that bank myself to little Thomas Jefferson 
Washington, for that wuz the name his Pa and Ma 
had gin him we called him Tommy. They gin 
him the name of Thomas Jefferson, I spoze, to honor 
the name of my son, and then put on the Washing 
ton to kinder prop up the memory of the Father of 
our Country, or so I spoze. 

I gin him that bank to try to give his Pa and Ma 
some idee of savin for a rainy day, and days when 
it didn t rain. 

It wuz very nice, in the form of a meetin 
house you put the money down through the stee 

I thought mebby, bein it wuz in this shape, it 
would sort o turn their minds onto meetin houses 
and such moral idees. 

Well, finally, one mornin early we heard, clear 


up in our room, Senator Coleman makin a great hue 
and cry. 

We hearn his voice lifted up high in agitation and 
exhortation, and I sez to my pardner : 

44 What under the sun is the matter with the rela 
tion on Maggie s side ?" 

And Josiah said, and it pains me to record it : 

" He didn t know, and he didn t care a dumb." 

He never liked Senator Coleman for a minute. 

But as we descended down to breakfast we soon 
found out and discovered what wuz the matter. 
Little Raymond (poor little babyish creeter !), a not 
mistrustin its real value, had took a valuable dia 
mond locket and gin it to little Tommy. 

It wuz a very valuable locket, with seven great 
diamonds in it. It wuz one that the Senator s dead 
wife had gin him when they wuz first married, and 
had their two names writ on it, and inside a lock ot 
their two hairs. 

It wuz one of the most precious things in the 
Senator s hull possessions ; and thinkin so much of 
it, he couldn t make up his mind to leave it to his 
banker s with the rest of his jewelry and plate, but 
he kept it with him, with a little ivory miniature of 
sweet Kate Fairfax when she first become his girl 
ish bride. 

The relation on Maggie s side did have one of 
two soft spots in his nater, and one of em wuz his 
adoration of his dead wife, and his clingin love for 
anything that had belonged to her, and the other 
wuz his love for his child more because it wuz her 
child, I do believe, than because it wuz his own. 

Them two soft places wuz oasis es, as you may 


say, in his nater. All the desert round em wuz full 
of the rocky, sandy soil of ambition, feverish ex 
pectations, and aims and plans for political advance 

Wall, Raymond had took this locket and gin it to 
Rosy s baby. His Pa had told him it would be 
hisen some time, and he thought it wuz hisen now. 

Poor little creeter ! he didn t have no more idee 
of the value on t than a Hottentot has of snow 
ploughs, or than we have as to what the folks up in 
Jupiter are a havin for dinner. 

And he sot by the winder a cryin as if his poor 
little childish heart would break, and the Senator 
wuz hoppin mad. 

But neither the tears nor the anger could bring 
back the jewel it wuz lost. Thomas J. of course 
had gone down to the coachman s cottage to make 
inquiries about it, accompanied by the distracted 
statesman. But of course Rosy had lied about it ; 
she said little Tom, three days before, jest after 
Raymond had gin it to him, had dropped it into the 

But nobody believed it. How could that infant 
have dropped it into the river more n a mile off ? 

No ; we all spozed that Rosy, a naterel thief and 
liar, had passed it on to some other thief, and it wuz 
all broke to pieces and the diamonds hid away and 
passed on out of reach. 

The strictest search hadn t amounted to nuthin . 
Wall, I didn t say much about it till after breakfast 
my manners wuz too perfect for that, and then I 
wuz hungry myself. And I felt that I had some 
things I wanted to say, and I didn t want to say em 


on a empty stomach, and didn t want em hearn on 

After breakfast the Senator begun agin on the 
subject, and kep it up. And I did feel sorry for 
him from the bottom of my heart, for, if you ll be 
lieve it, as we sot there alone in the settin room 
after breakfast, that man cried or, that is, the tears 
come fast into his eyes when he talked about it. 

And I gin the man credit where credit wuz due ; 
it wuzn t the money worth of the gem that he cared 
for, though it wuz very valuable. 

No ; it wuz the memory of lovely Kate Fairfax, 
and the blendin of their two names on it, and a part 
of their two selves, as you may say the curl of her 
golden hair twisted in with his dark locks. And all 
the tender memories of the happy time when she 
gin him this jewel with her first true love, and he 
gin her his hull heart. Memories bitter-sweet now 
as he mourned his losses. 

Wall, I see the Senator wuz all melted down and 
broke up ; and as is my way, havin the good of the 
human race on my mind and heart, and havin to do 
for em all the while, I see that now wuz the very 
time for me to tackle the relation from Delaware 
about a matter that I had long wanted to tackle him 
on, concernin a law of his own State 

A statute so full of burnin injustice, and -shame, 
and disgrace that it wuz a wonder to me, and had 
been for some time, that the very stuns along the 
banks of the Delaware didn t cry out to its Senators 
as they passed along to and from their law-makin 

And when he wuz a goin on the very worst about 


Raymond s doin such a dretful thing, and what a 
irreparable loss it wuz, I spoke up, and sez I, " Why, 
Raymond had a right to it, didn t he ?" 

"A right?." he thundered out in his agitation, 
" a right to throw away this priceless jewel ? What 
do you mean, madam ?" 

"Why," sez I calmly (for I wuz a workin* for 
Duty and Right ; and they always brace me up and 
keep me calm), " Raymond has passed the age of 
consent, hasn t he?" He wuz a few days over 
seven years old. 

"What!!!" cries the Senator, "what do you 
mean ?" 

1 Why, children in your State can consent to 
their own ruin if they are over seven." 

" It is girls that can do this," hollered the Senator 
from Delaware, " it hain t boys." 

But I went on calm as I could : 

" What are a few diamonds, that can be bought 
and sold, to be compared to the downfall of all hope 
and happiness, the contempt and derision of the 
world, the ruin of a life, and the loss of a immortal 
soul ? And your laws grant this privilege to chil 
dren if they are a day or two over seven." 

" That law was made for girls," cried the Sena 
tor agin in stentorian axents. 

Yes," sez I, " men made that law, and girls and 
wimmen have to stand it. But," sez I, lookin and 
actin considerable fierce, as the mighty shame and 
disgrace of that law come over me, "it is a law so 
infamus that I should think the old Atlantic herself 
(bein a female, as is spozed) would jest rare herself 
up and wash over the hull land, to try to wipe out 



or bury the horrible disgrace that has been put upon 
her sect would swash up and cover your little 
State completely up it ort to, and hide it forever 
from the heavens and the eye of females." 

That man begun to quail, I see he did. But the 
thought of Snow, the darlin , and our dear Babe at 
Jonesville nerved me up agin the thought of them, 


our own treasures, and the hosts of pretty children 
all over our land, beloved by some hearts jest as 
dearly as our children wuz. 

And I went on more fiery than I had went, as I 
thought, why Babe is old enough now, and Snow 
will be in a little w r hile, to lay their sweet little lives 
down under this Ju^ernut built up by_the vile pas- 


sions of men, and goin ahead of Isaac, lay them 
selves on the altar, take their own lives, and build 
up the fire to consume em. 

44 The idee of law-makers who call themselves 
wise makin such laws as these !" 

He stopped a handlin* that watch-chain of hisen, 
his head drooped, his hands dropped demutely into 
his lap. He murmured sunthin almost mechani 
cally about " the law being on the statute-book." 

" I know it is," sez I. "I know the law is there. 
But let wimmen have a chance to vote ; let a few 
mothers and grandmothers get holt of that statute- 
book, and see where that law would be." 

Sez I eloquently, " No spring cleanin and scour- 
in wuz ever done by females so thorough as they 
would cleanse out them old law books and let a lit 
tle of God s purity and justice shine into their musty 
old pages." 

Sez I, " You made a great ado about Raymond 
losin that locket because it wuz precious with the 
memories of your lost wife you treasured it as your 
most dear possession because it held a lock of her 
hair, because she gin it to you, and her love and 
tenderness seemed shinin out of every jewel in it. 

" But how would it be with a child that a mother 
left as a souvenir of her deathless love, a part of her 
own life left to a broken-hearted husband ? Would 
a man who held such a child, such a little daughter 
to his achin* heart, do and make a law by which the 
child could be lost and ruined forever ? 

* No ; the men that make these laws make em 
for other folks es children, not their own. It is 
other fathers girls that they doom to ruin. When 



they license shameful houses it hain t their own 
pretty daughters that they picture under the in- 
famus ruffs, despised playthings for brutality and 
lust. No ; it is some other parents daughters." 

My tone had been awful eloquent and riz up, for 
nobody but the Lord knew how deeply I felt all I 


had said, and more than I ever could say on the 

And I spoze I looked lofty and noble in my mean 
I spoze so. 

Anyway, Senator Coleman quailed to a extent 
that I hardly ever see quailed in my hull life, and I 


have seen lots of quailirT in my day. And I pressed 
home the charge. 

Sez I, " You say this law wuz made for girls ; but 
what if this boy that your sweet Kate Fairfax left 
you had happened to be a girl, and had gin away all 
that makes life worth living, how would you have 
felt then, Senator Coleman ? 

" How would you feel a thinkin that you had got 
to meet her lovin , questionin eyes up in heaven, 
and when she asked you what you had done with 
her child you would have to say that you had spent 
all your life a tryin to pass laws that wuz the ruina 
tion of her darlin ; that you had done your best to 
frame laws so that them that prey upon innocence 
and childish ignorance could go unpunished, and 
that the blood of these souls, the agony of breakin 
hearts wuz a layin at your door ? 

" How could you meet them sweet, lovin eyes 
and have to tell her this ?" 

He jest crumpled right down, and almost buried 
his face in his white linen handkerchief, and give 
vent to some low groans that wuz damp with tears. 

That man had never had the truth brung right 
home to him before, and he trembled and he shrunk 
before it. 

And he promised me then and there that he would 
turn right round and do his very best to make laws 
to protect innocence and ignorance and to purify 
the hull statute-book all he could ; and I felt that he 
had tackled a hard job, but I believed he would try 
his best. I guess he means to tell the truth. 

And I wuz almost overpolite to him after this, not 
wantin to do or say a thing to break up his good 


intentions ; and when he went away he gin me a 
dretful meanin , earnest look, and sez he : 

You can depend upon me to keep my word." 

And I believed he would. 

Poor little Raymond cried when he went away, 
cried and wept. 

But the Senator promised to let him come back 
before a great while for a good long visit that com 
forted him a little. And we all kissed him and made 
much of him ; and Snow, with the tears a standin in 
her sweet eyes, offered to gin him the doll she loves 
best Samantha Maggie Tirzah Ann if it would be 
any help to him. But he said he had ruther have 
her keep it. And I believe he told the truth. 

He is a good child. 



HAD been out a walkin one day, and 
when I got back and went into the set- 
tin* room, I see there wuz a visitor there, 
and, lo and behold, when I wuz introduced 
to him it wuz Col. Seybert ! 

He wuz dretful polite and I know well 
what belongs to good manners and so I didn t 
turn my back to him and walk off with my cap- 
strings a wavin back in a indignant, scornful way. 

No ; he wuz a neighbor, and my son and daughter 
wuz a neighborin with him, so I treated him polite 
but cool, and shook his hand back and forth mebby 
once or twice, and sez : 

I am well, and I hope 1 find you the same." 
Oh, I know how to appear. 

I then went and sot down some distance from 

Genieve wuz a settin* in the next room holdin* 


Boy in her arms he wuzn t over and above well 
that day (cuttin teeth). And I looked out and 
smiled at em both ; I then went to knittin . 

If I should be obleeged to kiss the Bible and tell 
jest what I thought about Col. Seybert, I should say 
that I didn t like his looks a mite, not a mite. 

He looked bold, and brassy, and self-assertive, 
and dissipated he looked right down mean. And 
1 should have said so if I hadn t never hearn a word 
about his treatment of Victor, or his deviltry about 
Hester, or anything. 

You know in some foreign countries the officers 
have to give you a passport to pass through the 
country. And when you are a travellin you have 
to show your papers, and show up who you be and 
what you be. 

Wall, I spoze that custom is follered from one of 
Nater s. She always fills out her papers and signs 
em with her own hand, so that folks that watch can 
tell travellers a passin through this world. 

Nater had signed Col. Seybert s passport, had writ 
it down in the gross, sensual, yet sneerin lips, in 
the cold, cruel look in his eyes, in his loud, boastin , 
aggressive manner. 

Yet he wuz a neighbor, and I felt that we must 
neighbor with him. 

After I come into the room, he begun, I spoze out 
of politeness, to sort o address himself to me in his 
remarks. And he seemed to be a resoomin the con 
versation my comin in had interrupted. 

And anon, he begun to went on about the colored 
people perfectly shameful. 

And as my mind roamed back and recalled the 



various things I had heard of his doin , I most 
imegiatly made up my mind that, neighbor or not, 
if this thing kep on I should have to gin him a 
piece of my mind. 

And there Genieve sot, the good, pretty, patient 
creeter, a hearin her own people run down to the 


lowest notch. I felt as if I should sink, but felt that 
before I did sink I should speak. 

He went on to tell what a dretful state the coun 
try wuz in, and all a owin to the colored race ; and 
sez he : 

" The niggers don t take any interest in the wel- 


fare of the country. What do they care what be 
comes of the nation if they can get their pan of 
bacon and hominy ? 

" A mule stands up before their eyes higher than 
any idea of Justice or Liberty. 

" They are liars, they are thieves, they are lazy, 
they are hangers-on to the skirts of civilization, they 
can never stand upright, they have got to be carried 
all their days. And it is this mass of ignorance, and 
superstition, and vice that you Northerners want to 
see ruling us white men of the South. 

They can t read nor write, nor understand an 
intelligible remark hardly ; and yet these are the 
men that you want to have vote and get put in as 
rulers over us. 

Well, we will not submit to it, that is all there 
is about it ; and if war comes, the sooner the better, 
for we will die fighting for our freedom. It is bad 
enough for us Southerners to be ruled by Northern 
men, but when it comes to being ruled by beasts, 
animals that are no higher than brutes, we will not 

Sez I, for I would speak up, and I did : 

" Hain t there plenty of intelligent educated col 
ored people now, graduates of schools and colleges 
lawyers, teachers, ministers, etc., etc. ?" 

" Oh, yes, a few," he admitted reluctantly. 

I knew there wuz a hundred thousand of em, if 
there wuz one. 

And I sez, " Hain t the condition of your poor 
whites here in the South about as bad as the 
negroes, mentally and morally and physically?" 

" Well, yes," he admitted that it wuz. " But," 


sez he, "that don t alter the dangerous state of 
affairs. The interests of a community cannot be 
placed in the hands of an ignorant, vicious rabble 
without terrible peril arid danger. And when it is too 
late the country will awake to this truth." 

His axent wuz very skairful, and reproachful, and 
rebukin , and despairing and everything. And so, 
thinkses I, I will ventilate some of them views that 
had gone through my mind when I first begin to 
muse on the Race Problem, before I had heard so 
much of Victor and Genieve s talk and Cousin John 
Richards es. 

Thinkses I, "It won t do no hurt to promulgate 
em anyway," for I truly felt that if they wouldn t 
do no good, they wouldn t be apt to do no hurt. 

And then, when there is a big conundrum gin out 
to a individual or a nation, it stands to reason that 
there must be more than one answer to it or, that 
is, folks will try to answer it in more than fifty ways. 

And anyway, this wuz part of one answer to the 
conundrum, though folks might be dubersome of its 
bein the right one ; anyway, I sez, sez I : 

" Hain t your Southern wimmen of the higher 
classes high-minded and educated ladies ?" 

" Yes, God bless them," sez he, " they are as pure, 
and good, and high minded as angels ; and to think 
of these lofty-souled, spiritual creatures being under 
the rule of these beasts of burden." 

(Thinkses I, no thanks to him if they are good and 
pure, the mean, miserable snipe.) 

But I sez, " If these wimmen are so good and 
noble, of course you wouldn t be afraid to trust em. 
Why not let em vote, why not have a educated, 


moral vote, that would take the power out of the 
hands of the low and vile, black and white, and 
place it in the hands of the educated and moral, and 
whether in this country or another" (sez I, as I 
thought to myself of Victor s plan), " whether in 
this Republic or a new colony, it would be a right 
way, a safe way. 

" I don t believe in women voting," sez Col. Sey- 
bert, with a strong, witherin emphasis. " I don t 
believe in it and they don t ; you couldn t get our 
women to vote." 

"How do you know they wouldn t? You say 
they are high-minded and pure as angels. Now, an 
angel, if she see that the best good of the greatest 
number depended on her votin , she would jest lift 
her wings right up and sail off to the pole and vote. 
I believe it as much as I believe I am alive. 

" If the wimmen of the South are as lofty princi 
pled as you say they are, and they wuz convinced 
that they could rescue their beloved land from 
danger by sacrincin their own feelin s if necessary, 
to keep the balance of power in the educated classes, 
why, they would walk up and vote. I believe it jest 
as much as I believe I am standin here. 

The same bravery that met the terrible reverses 
of the War with a smile hidin* a breakin heart, 
that endured privation, and almost starvation, for 
their love to the cause, that same spirit hain t a 
goin to falter now. Let them know that they can 
do great good to the imperilled South. Let them 
know that the country wants an intelligent, educated 
vote. Let the test of intelligence and a certain 
amount of education and morality be required. And 


then let every one of em vote, male or female, bond 
or free, black or white. 

11 I don t spoze you could bring up, if you should 
hunt for weeks, any good reason aginst this plan. 
I don t spoze you would find any skairful and dan 
gerous objection to it. 1 don t spoze, really and 
honestly, that it could be apt to do any harm. And 
then, on the other hand, you could bring up lots of 
reasons as to why it might do good ; lots of em 
hefty reasons too and good sound moral ones, 
every one of em. 

* The supremacy would for years and years, or 
as long as safety demanded, remain in the hands of 
the white race." (I didn t, in my mind, come out 
aginst Victor s plans, but I knew that this would be 
a good thing lor them that wuz left behind in the 
exodus and them that went too, a helpful, encour- 
agin thing.) 

" And jest as soon as the negro and the poor 
whites get fit for it, as soon as they had fitted them 
selves morally and intellectually for the right of 
suffrage, why it is only justice that they should 
have it. 

11 It would ensure safety to the South to-day, and 
it would open a bright and fair to-morrow, whether 
in this land or any other, where the colored men and 
wimmen can stand free and equal with the white race, 
where the low, ignorant ones of the white people 
can come up on another plane and a higher one, 
where they can read this text a shinin with the gold 
letters of Justice and Common Sense, where they 
glitter now with the sham gildin of absurdity 

" All men are free and equal. 


" For a low, vicious, ignorant person, be he black 
or be he white, is not equal to a high-minded, intelli 
gent one. And the law that sets them two up side 
by side is an unjust and foolish law. 

" But the light of the fair to-morrow is a shinin 
down ; its light beckons, it inspires, it helps for 

44 It is a sure thing. Jest as soon as a man or 
woman is fit to vote they can vote. If they prepare 
themselves in ten years, there the golden prize is a 
waitin for em. If they fit themselves in one year 
to reach it, so much the better. 

" It is a premium set upon effort for men and 
wimmen, black and white, upon noble endeavor, 
upon all that lifts a man above the animals that 

To make one of the rulers of a great republic, a 
great country, what can stimulate a young man or a 
young woman more than this ? And every prize 
that is open to the cultured and educated now will 
in that time be open to them ; they can aspire to the 
highest place jest as soon as they become worthy 
of it. 

"All the teachers in colored schools testify that 
the ability of the colored boys and girls is fully equal 
to the white. In Jones ville," sez I, " my own native 
place, a little colored boy led the roll of honor, wuz 
more perfect in school than the children of ministers 
or judges, and they white as snow, and he as black 
as a little ace of spades. 

Sez I, " The idees I have promulgated to you 
would be apt to light up one side of the Race Prob 


You have got to put the niggers down,* sez 
Col. Seybert, as onconvinced as ever, so I see. 
" That is the only way to get along with them." 

Sez I, " That time has gone by, Col. Seybert. 

" The time when it wuz possible to do this has 
passed ; if you want to make a man, black or white, 
stay in a dark dungeon, you mustn t break his chains 
and show him the stairs that climb up to the sun 
shine and to liberty. 

"If he has dropped his chains onto the damp, 
mouldy pavement, if he has stood on the very low 
est of them steps and seen way up over his head the 
warm sun a shinin and heard the song of birds and 
the distant rushin of clear waters, you never can 
put him back down into that dark, damp dungeon 
agin, and slip his hands into the fetters and keep 
him there. 

" No ; he has had a glimpse of the wideness and 
glory of liberty, and you never can smother it 

" If this Nation had wanted to keep on a Nation 
of slaveholders and slaves, it ortn t to have let the 
light of Christianity and education shine down onto 
em at all ; it ortn t to have broke their chains and 
called em free. 

" They will never resign that glorious hope, Col. 
Seybert ; they will press forward. 

" They have crouched down and wore their fet 
ters long enough ; they are a goin* to stand up and 
be free men and free wimmen. 

"And for you or for me to try to put our puny 
strengths in the way of God s everlastin decree and 
providence would be li&Q puttin up our hands and 


tryin to stop a whirlwind. It would whirl us out 
of the way, but its path would be onward. 

" The negroes will be a free people, a powerful, 
God-fearin , patient, noble one." 

Col. Seybert wuzn t convinced. Fur from it. 
He made a motion of extreme disgust. But I turned 
my head a little, and over Col. Seybert s shoulder, 
back behind him, I see a face. 

It wuz a face illumined, riz up, inspired, if ever a 
face" wuz upon earth. A noble purpose shone 
through it and made it a grand face. 

It wuz Victor ; he had heard every word I had 
said and believed every word, only he had fitted the 
words to suit his own meaning. 

I felt this by the rapt expression of his counte 
nance, and also by that free-masonry of the spirit 
that binds the souls of the true lovers of Humanity, 
whether they be black or white on the outside. 

Col. Seybert turned and follered my look, and he 
see Victor, and he spoke out angrily : 

" Why do you follow me, you dog you, tight to 
my heels ? Can t I ever escape your watchfulness ?" 

(He had been or one of his sprees, so I hearn, and 
Victor had kep watch on him, and his nerves wuz 
onstrung yet, and he felt hateful.) 

" Mrs. Seybert sent me over for you." 

" Why don t you say your mistress, you fool ?" 

Victor wuz perfectly respectful, but he did not 
change his words. 

" General Lord and his son have come, and she 
wanted you told at once." 

" Well, follow me immediately ; don t dawdle 



Yes, sir," said Victor. And he turned at once 
to follow his brother (for I would keep on a callin 
him so in my mind). 

But I glanced down and see Col. Seybert a talkin* 
with Maggie down on the lawn (she and Thomas J. 
had been called down-stairs, and had been gone for 
some time entirely onbeknown to me, I had been so 
riz up and by the side of myself). 

And I sez to Victor : 

" You believe what I said ?" 

Yes, God knows I do ! It is true, and will be 
fulfilled in His own good time ; but not in this 
land," sez he. 

Genieve had come in with Boy, and she and Vic 
tor gin each other a silent greetin of the eyes a 
heart greetin , dear and sweet as earthly language 
cannot be. 

And in her big, eloquent eyes I see too her belief 
in what I had said I see that and more too. Them 
sweet eyes looked grand and prophetic. Sez she : 

The time is hastening. I have seen the glow 
of that to-morrow ; its light is waking the sleep 

" Africa has been asleep for ages. She has 
crouched down in her pain, her long stupor. But 
she is waking up. The dead form is beginning to 
move to rise up. She will stand upon her feet 
among the nations of the earth. And when this 
warm-hearted, musical, beauty-loving people come 
to their own, who may paint their future ? 

They will be leaders among the nations. Poesy, 
art, song, oratory will find in them their highest ex 
ponents. And after bending and cowering beneath 


its burdens for centuries, Africa will rise and tower 
up above the other nations of the earth." 

Oh, how Genieve s eyes shone and glowed with 
inner light as she said these words, as if she wuz de- 
scribin sunthin she see fur off. 

And I declare it gin me such a feelin , sunthin 
like a cold chill, only more riz up like, that I didn t 
know but she did see it. 

And I don t know now but she did, and then agin 
I don t know as she did. But anon the illumination 
sort o faded out of her eyes agin. 

The old patient, brave look come over Victor s 
face, and he followed Col. Seybert home ; and lo 
and behold ! by the time Maggie come in to 
ask about Boy the rapt prophetess Genieve had 
changed agin into the faithful, quiet, patient nurse 

Wall, Boy grew pretty every day not a pretti- 
ness like Snow s, delicate and spiritual, but a sort of 
a healthy, happy boy pretty. Bold, bright blue 
eyes, rosy cheeks, and a mouth that seemed made 
for smiles and kisses, and cheeks that wuz perfect 
rose nests for dimples short brown curls begun to 
lengthen on his round little head. 

And he wuz altogether a very pretty boy, very. 

But Snow, the darlin , wuz the very light of our 
eyes, the joy of our lives. 

A sweeter child never lived, and that I know. 
She twined round our hearts as it seemed as if no 
other child ever had or ever could. 

Her Pa and Ma watched her grow in beauty and 
goodness with love-glorified eyes ; and as for her 
Grandpa, I should have said he acted fairly foolish 

2 54 


if it wuz on any other subject than this that he wuz 
so carried away on. 

But 1 could see plain that every word he said in 


commendation and praise of that child wuz Gospel 

There never wuz such a beautiful child before, 


either in America, or Asia, or Africa, or the Islands 
of the Sea. And bein entirely onprejudiced my 
self, of course I could see that he wuz in the right 
on t. 

That man wuz jest led round by her like a lamb 
by the shearer, only the lamb might mebby be on- 
willin and Josiah Allen went happy and smilin 1 , the 
shearer wuz so awfully smart and pretty. (That 
metafor don t quite fit into my meanin , but I guess 
I will let it go. It is hard work sometimes to find 
metafors a layin* round handy all rounded off to suit 
round holes in your conversation, and square ones 
to fit the square places, etc.) 

But as I wuz a sayin , I never see a man take more 
solid comfort than my pardner did a walkin round, 
and a talkin , and a playin with that beautiful, beau 
tiful child. 

And I too the same, and likewise. 

And the help all jest about worshipped her, and 
they couldn t do enough for her, from Genieve down 
to Rosy and Rosy s baby. 

That little ebony image would seem to laugh 
louder and show his white teeth and the whites of 
his little eyes like two pearl buttons sot in black 
beads, and babble his baby talk faster and faster, if 
she come in his sight. 

Mebby it wuz her oncommon beauty and worth, 
and then, agin, mebby it wuz the little nice bits she 
always carried him candy, and nuts, and cakes, 
and such, and lots of her toys that she had sort o* 

I want to be exact and truthful as a historian, and 
so I say, mebby it wuz this and mebby it wuz that. 


Wall, now that they wuz all well agin and oncom- 
mon prosperous, Josiah and me begun to talk about 
goin* back to Jonesville and our duties there. 

But our children wouldn t hear a word to it. 
They said nuthin hendered us from stayin and tak- 
in a good rest, as Ury took good care of every 
thing, and we had worked hard, and ort to rest off 
for a long time. 

So we kep on a stayin . There wuzn t no reason 
why we shouldn t, to tell the truth Ury wuz a doin 
better with the farm than Josiah Allen could, or full 
as well anyway. And Philury took care of every 
thing inside, and I knew I could trust her with 
ontold gold, if I had any ontold gold ; so we 
stayed on. 



T wuz a dretful curiosity to me and a never- 
failin source of interest to watch the ways 
and habits of the Southern people about 
Belle Fanchon, both white and colored. 

The neighborhood wuzn t very thickly 
settled with white people. But still there wuz quite 
a number of neighbors, and they wuz about all of 
em kind-hearted, generous, hospitable people to 
their equals. 

They seemed to like their own folks the best, the 
Southern folks ; but still they wuz very kind to my 
son and his wife, and seemed willin and glad to 
neighbor with em. While there wuz so much sick 
ness in the house, they seemed anxious to help ; and 
I see that they wuz warm-hearted, ready to take 
trouble for other folks, ready to give all the help 
they could. 

And they wuz very polite to Josiah Allen and me, 


and pleasant to talk with. But let the subject of the 
freedmen come up, or the Freedmen s Bureau, I 
could see in a minute that they hated that bureau 
hated it like a dog. 

I hit aginst that bureau quite a number of times 
in my talk with them neighbors, and I could see 
that it creaked awfully in their ears ; its draws 
drawed mighty heavy to em, and the hull structure 
wuz hated by em worse than any gulontine wuz 
ever hated by Imperialists. 

And colored schools, of course there wuz excep 
tions to it, but, as a rule, them neighbors despised 
the idee of schools for the " niggers," despised the 
teachers and the hull runnin gear of the institu 

The colored men and wimmen they seemed to 
look upon about as Josiah and me looked onto our 
dairy, though mebby not quite so favorably, for 
there wuz one young yearlin* heifer and one three- 
year-old Jersey that I always said knew enough to 

They had wonderful minds, both on em, so I 
always said, and I petted em a sight and thought 
everything on em. 

But the " niggers" in their eyes wuz nuthin* and 
never could be anything but slaves ; in that capacity 
they wuz willin to do anything for em doctor em 
when they wuz sick, and clothe em and take care 
on em. 

They wuz willin to call em Uncle and Aunt and 
Mammy, but to call em Mr. or Mrs. wuz a abomi 
nation to em ; and one woman rebuked me hard for 
callin a old black preacher Mr. Peters. 


Sez she, " I wouldn t think you would call a low- 
down nigger Mr. 

But I sez, " I heard you call him Uncle, and that 
is goin ahead of me ; for much as I respect him for 
his good, Christian qualities, I wouldn t go so fur as 
to tell a wrong story in order to claim relationship 
with him. He hain t no kin to me, and so I am 
more distant to him and call him Mister." 

But Mrs Stanwood (that wuz her name) tosted 
her head, and I see my deep, powerful argument 
hadn t convinced her. 

And most imegiatly after she begun to run down 
the white teachers in the colored schools and run the 
idee of their puttin themselves down on a equality 
with niggers and bein so intimate with em. 

" But," sez I, " you have told me that your little 
girl always sleeps with her colored nurse, and you 
did with yours when you wuz a child. And, sez 
I, " that seems to me about as intimate as anybody 
can get, to sleep in the same bed ; and when both are 
a layin down, they seem to be pretty much on a 
equality that is," sez I, reasonable, " if their pil- 
lers are of the same height and bigness." 

And I resoomed " I never hearn of any white 
teacher bein in that state of equality with the col 
ored people," sez I ; " they are a laborin for their 
souls and minds mostly, and you can t seem to get 
on such intimate terms with them, if you try, as you 
can with bodies." 

Miss Stanwood tosted her head fearful high at 
this, and didn t seem impressed by the depth and 
solidity of my argument no more than if it had been 
a whiff of wind from a alkelie desert. It wuz offen- 


sive to her. And she never seemed to care about 
conversin with me on them topics agin. 

But I wuz dretful polite to her, and shouldn t 
have said this if she hadn t opened the subject. 

But from all my observations, I see the Southern 
ers felt pretty much alike on this subject, they wuz 
about unanimous on it though, as there always must 
be everywhere, there wuz a few that thought differ 

There must be a little salt scattered everywhere, 
else how could the old earth get salted ? 

But I couldn t bear to hear too much skairful talk 
from Southerners about the two races bein intimate 
with each other. I couldn t bear to hear too many 
forebodin s on the subject, for I know and every 
body knows that ever sence slavery existed the two 
races had been about as intimate with each other as 
they could be in some ways ; and the white man 
to blame for it, in most every case. 

And I couldn t seem to think the Bible and the 
spellin book wuz a goin to add any dangerous fea 
tures to the case ; no, indeed. I know it wuz goin to 
be exactly the reverse and opposite. 

But as interestin as the white folks wuz to me to 
behold and observe down in them Southern States, 
the colored people themselves wuz still more of a 
curiosity to me. 

To me, who had always lived up North and had 
never neighbored with anybody darker complex- 
ioned than myself (my complexion is good, only some 
tanned) it wuz a constant source of interest and in 
struction to me " to look about and find out," as the 
poet has so well remarked. 


And I see, as I took my notes, that Victor and 
Genieve wuz no more to be compared with the rest 
of the race about them than a eagle and a white dove 
wuz to be compared with ground birds. 

These two seemed to be the very blossoms of the 
crushed vine of black humanity, pure high blossoms 
lifted up above the trompled stalks and tendrils of 
the bruised and bleeding vine that had so long run 
along the ground all over the South land, for any foot 
to stamp on, for every bad influence of earth and 
sky to centre on and debase. 

(That hain t a over and above good metafor ; but 
I ll let it go, bein I am in some of a hurry.) 

I spozed then, and I spoze still, that all over the 
land, wherever this thick, bleeding, tangled under 
growth lingered and suffered, there wuz, anon and 
even oftener, pure, fair posys lifted up to the sky. 

I spozed there wuz hundreds and thousands of 
bright, intelligent lives reachin up out of the dark 
ness into the light, minds jest as bright as the white 
race could boast, lives jest as pure and consecrated. 
And I spozed then, and spoze now, that faster and 
faster as the days go by, and the means of culture 
and advancement are widening, will these souls be 
lifted up nigher and nigher to the heavens they 
aspire to. 

A race that has given to the world a Fred Doug 
lass, and that sublime figure of Toussaint L Ouver- 
ture, that form that towers higher than any white 
saint or hero and he risin to that almost divine 
height by his own unaided powers, without culture 
or education what may it not hope to aspire to, 
helped by these aids ? 


Truly the future is glorious with hope and prom 
ise for the negro. 

But to resoom and continue the epistol I com 

The most of the colored people about Belle Fan- 
chon wuz fur different from Victor and Genieve. 
But a close observer could trace back their faults 
and weaknesses to their source. 

Maggie s cook wuz a old black woman who wuzn t 
over and above neat in her kitchen (it didn t look 
much like the kitchen of a certain person whose 
home wuz in Jonesville no, indeed), but who got up 
awful good dinners and suppers and brekfusses. 

She wuz tall and big-boneded, and black as jet. 
Her hair, which wuz wool and partly white, wuz 
twisted up on top of her head and surmounted by a 
wonderful structure which she called a turben. 

Sometimes this wuz constructed of a gorgeous 
red and yeller handkerchief, and sometimes it wuz 
white as snow ; and when she wore this, she always 
wore a clean white neckerchief crossed on her 
breast, and a large white apron. She wore glasses 
too, which gave her a more dignified appearance. 
Evidently she wore these for effect, as she always 
looked over them, even when she took up a paper 
or book and pretended to be readin it ; she could 
not read or write. 

Indeed, when she had heavy work on hand, such 
as washin , which made the situation of her best 
glasses perilous, I have seen her wear a heavy pair 
of bows, with no glasses in them whatever. 

She evidently felt that these ornaments to her face 
added both grace and dignity. 



Her figure wuz a little bent with years, but the 
fire of youth seemed burnin still in her black eyes. 

She boasted of havin lived in the best families in 
the South, and took great pride in relatin instances 
of the grandeur and wealth of the family she wuz 
raised in. 

The name she went by wuz Aunt Mela. 

I spoze her name wuz or should have been 
Amelia, but there wuzn t no law violated, as I knows 
on, by her callin herself " Mela." It wuz some 
easier to speak anyway. 

I used to go down into the kitchen and talk quite 
a good deal with Aunt Mela. 

At first she didn t seem to relish the idee of my 
meddlin with her, but as days went on and she see 
that I wuz inclined to mind my own business, and 
to help her once in a while when she wuz in a bad 
place, she seemed to get easier in her mind, and 
would talk considerable free with me. 

But she never thought anything of me compared 
to what she did of Maggie. She jest worshipped 
her ; and Maggie wuz dretful good to her, gin her 
a sight besides her wages, and took care on her 
when she wuz sick, jest as faithful and good as she 
would of her own Ma or of me. 

And Aunt Mela had sick spells often with what 
she called " misery in her back and misery in her 

I spoze it wuz backache and headache, that is 
what I spoze. 

Wall, Aunt Mela sot store by Maggie, for the rea 
sons I have stated, and then she liked her. And you 
can t always parse that word and get the real true 


meanin of the why and the wherefore, why we jest 
take to some folks and can t help it. 

Wall, as I said, Aunt Mela wuz a wonderful good 
cook, a Baptist by persuasion, and 1 guess she meant 
to be as good as she could be, and honest. I believe 
she tried to be. 

She had tried to keep the Commandments, or the 
biggest heft of em, ever sence she had jined the 
meetin house ; and then she loved Maggie so well 
that she hated to wrong her in any way. But old 
influences and habits wuz strong in her, and she 
had common sense enough and honesty enough to 
recognize their power. 

One day Maggie and I went out into the vege 
table garden back of the house, and she had stopped 
in the kitchen for sunthin , and she left the keys of 
the store-room in the lock. 

And Aunt Mela come a hurryin after us into the 
garden with the keys in her hand. 

" Miss Maggie, chile, hain t I tole you not to lef 
dem keys in de lock, an now you ve dun it agin." 

She wuz fairly tremblin with her earnestness, her 
white turben a flutterin in the mornin breeze and 
the air of her agitation. 

" Why, Aunt Mela, you was there ; what hurt 
would it do for me to leave them ? You are honest, 
you wouldn t take anything." 

" Miss Maggie, honey, chile, don you leave dem 
keys dah no moah. You say I m hones , an so I 
hopes I am. But den agin I don know. But when 
anybody can t do sumpin , den dey don do it, an 
don you leave dem keys dah no moah." 

" Why, Aunt Mela, I trust you," sez Maggie in 


her sweet voice. " I know you wouldn t do any 
thing to hurt me." 

" To hurt you ? No, honey. But den how can I 
tell when ole Mars Saten will jes rise up an try to 
hurt ole Mela ? He may jes make me do sumpin 
mean jes to spite me for turnin my back on him. 
He jes hates Massa Jesus, ole Saten duz, an he s 
tried to spite me ebery way sense I jine him. 

" So you jes keep dem keys, Miss Maggie, and if 
ole Saten tells me to get sumpin outen dat stow 
room to teck to my sister down to Eden Centite, I ll 
say : 

1 You jes* go long ! I can t do it nohow, for 
Miss Maggie done got de keys. 

Maggie took the keys and tried to keep them 
after this. 

But she told me that many times Aunt Mela had 
warned her in the same way. 

One day she had been tellin me a good deal about 
her trials and labors sence the War, and how she and 
her sister had worked to get them a little home, and 
how many times they had been cheated and imposed 
upon, and made to pay over bills time and agin, owin 
to their ignorance of business. 

And I asked her if she thought she wuz any bet 
ter off now than when she wuz a slave. 

She straightened up her tall figure, put her hands 
on her hips, and looked at me over the top of her 

" Betteh off, you say ? You go lay down in de 
dahk, tied to de floah ; if dat floah is cahpeted wid 
velvet an sahten, you d feel betteh to get up an go 
way out on de sand, or de ston you feel free 


you holt yur haid up you breeve long brefs you 
are free !" 

But,"sez I, " the floor of slavery wuzn t covered 
with velvet, wuz it ?" 

It wuz covered \vid blood an misery. De dun 
geon house wuz heavy wid groans, an teahs, an 

" My missy wuz good to me, as good as she could 
be to a slave. But all my chillen, one aftah anoder, 
wuz stole away from me. 

"Aftah havin fo teen chillen, lubbin ebery one 
ob em, like I would die ef dey wuz tuck away from 
me aftah holdin dem fo teen clost to my heart, so 
dey couldn t be tuck nohow, I foun my ole ahms 

She stretched out her gaunt old arms with a inde 
scribable gesture of loneliness and woe, and went on 
in a voice full of the tears and misery of that old 
time : " I wuz kep jes to raise chillen for de 
mahket, dat wuz my business. An when I gin dem 
chillen my heart s lub. dat wuz goin beyent my 

" Slaves don hab no call to be humans nohow ; 
if dey had hearts dey wuz wrung clear outen der 
bodies ; if dey had goodness dey los it quick nuff. 

" To try to be a good woman and true to your ole 
man wuz goin beyent yur business. 

" Dey sole him too, de fader ob leben ob my chil 
len. He lubbed dem chillen too, jes as well Massy 
Allen lub little Missy Snow. 

" He had to leab em toah off, covered wid 
blood an gashes, for he fit for us, fit to stay wid me 
we had libbed togedder sense I wuz fo teen. 


" I neber see him agin. He wuz killed way 
down in ole Kaintuck. He turned ugly aftah bein 
tuck from us, an* den he wuz whipped, an he grew 
weak an homesick for us an his ole home. An 
den dey whip him moah to meek him wuck. 

" And he daid off one day right when dey wuz a 
lashin him up. Didn t see he wuz daid, kep on a 
whippin his cole daid body." 

Here Aunt Mela sunk down in a chair and cov 
ered her face in a corner of her apron, and rocked 
to and fro. 

And I hain t ashamed to say that I took out my 
white linen handkerchief and cried with her. 

But pretty soon Aunt Mela wiped her eyes, ad 
justed her glasses agin, and went about her prepara 
tions for dinner. 

And I jest hurried out of the kitchen, for my 
heart wuz full, full and runnin over. 

And I gin her that very afternoon a bran new 
gingham apron, chocolate and white checks, all 
made up and trimmed acrost the bottom with as 
many as seven rows of white braid. 

And I didn t give her that apron a thinkin it 
would make up for the loss of her companion no, 
indeed ! What would store clothes be to me to take 
the place of my Josiah ? 

But I gin it to her to show my friendliness to her 
and to show her that I liked her, and to remind her 
that after she had been tosted and tore by the ragin 
billows she had got into a good harbor now, and a 
well-meanin* one. 

So I gin her the apron. 

There wuz another family of colored folks who 


lived pretty nigh to Belle Fanchon, and I got to 
know considerable about them because they used to 
come after so many things to my son s house. 

Every day they came after milk or buttermilk one 
little black face after another did I see there in the 
kitchen ; but they all belonged to the same family, so 
I wuz told, and seemed to be of all ages between six 
and twenty. I could see they must take after the 
Bible some, for all of the children had Skripter 
names Silus, and Barnibas, and Elikum, and Jede- 
diah, and St. Luke, and more n a dozen others, so it 
seemed to me. 

Aunt Mela didn t seem to think much on em. She 
said they wuz " lazy, no account, low-down niggers." 

But still, when we hearn that the mother wuz sick 
(the father wuz always sick, or said he wuz), I went 
to see her, and see she needed a dress bad why, 
Aunt Mela took holt and showed quite a interest in 
our makin it. 

We bought some good calico, chocolate ground 
with a red sot flower on it, and got her measure, 
and then we made it up as quick as we could, for 
she hadn t a dress to her back, only the old ragged 
one that she had on. 

Wall, we made it the easiest way we could ; we 
started it for a sort of a blouse waist and a skirt, but 
Aunt Mela told us if we let em go that way she 
never would keep the skirt and waist together 
there would always be a strip between em, for she 
wuz too lazy to keep em pinned together. 

So we thought we would put some buttons on to 
fasten the skirt to the waist, and then we made a 
belt to go on over it of the same. 



And as we wuz in a hurry, and knew the buttons 
wouldn t show under the belt, we used some odd 
buttons out of Maggie s button-bag, no two of a size 
or color, most of em pantaloons buttons, but some 
on em red ones, and one or two wuz white. 

It looked like fury, but we knew the belt would 
cover it. 

Wall, we made it, and I carried it down to her 
and explained the urgent necessity of the belt to her. 
And the very next day she wore it up to our house 
on a errant in the mornin . I happened to be in the 
kitchen, and when she come in there I see the full row 
of pantaloons buttons a shinin out all round her 
waist, from the size of a dollar down to a pea. 

As I looked on it, I know I looked strange. 

And she asked me anxiously " if I wuz sick ?" 

And sez I, " Yes, sick unto death." 

She wuz too lazy and shiftless to put on that belt. 

Sez I pretty severe like in axent, " Dinah, why 
didn t you put on that belt ?" 

" Foh Gord, Missy, I cleen don fo get it. 
Wall, what good duz it do for us to work and 
make you a dress, if you are too shiftless to put it 
on ?" 

" Foh Gord, Missy, I dun no ; spect nobody 

" No," sez I in a despairin axent, " nobody duz." 

The father could earn good wages at his trade, 
which wuz paintin and whitewashing and the 
mother wuz a good cook and laundress. And the 
boys wuz strong and healthy. But they would none 
of them work only jest enough to get a little some 
thing to eat and a few articles of clothin , and then 


they would stop all labor, and none of the family 
work another day s work till that wuz all used up. 

Wall, she told me that day that her husband wuz 
sick agin, and they hadn t any provisions ; so we sent 
them down a sack of flour and a few pounds of 

They wuz sent about the middle 01 the torenoon 
and St. Luke wuz imegiatly despatched to get but 
termilk he wanted to get a good deal, he said, for 
they wanted enough to make a good many messes 
of biscuit. And Barnabas wuz sent out to borry 
some soda. 

I sez to St. LUKC, " Why don t your Ma make riz 
bread ? it would make the flour last as long agin, 
and then it would be fur more wholesome." 

And he told me that they didn t love it so well. 

Wall, we sent the buttermilk. 

That night Thomas Jefferson wuz kep out late on 
business, and he passed their cabin at twelve o clock 
at night, and he see the family all up, seated round 
the table eatin . 

And I asked Barnaby f .he next day, when he 
come on his usual errant for milk, if they wuz sick 
in the night. 

And he told me that they wuzn t sick, but his 
father got hungry in the night, and his mother got 
up and made some warm biscuit, and called em all 
up, and they had supper in the night warm biscuit, 
and butter and preserves. 

And I said to Maggie out to one side : 
They couldn t seem to eat up their provisions 
fast enough in the daytime, so they had to set up 
nights to do it." 


And she said, " So it seemed." 

Wall, the man s sickness wuz mostly in his stomach 
pain in his stomach, so his wife told me. 

And that wuz the reason she told me that she 
made warm biscuit so much. 

And I told her it wuz the worst thing- she could 
cook for him, for his health and his pocket. 

But she said he loved em so well, and he wuz so 
kinder sick, she humored him dretfully ; she said if 
anything should happen she shouldn t have re 

She said she always made a five-gallon jar of 
strawberry preserves ; she worked out to get the 
sugar and she picked the strawberries herself, and 
she said they wuzn t set on the table hardly any. 
When he didn t feel well in the night, he would get 
up and take a spoon and eat out of that jar. And she 
ended agin by sayin : 

" I shouldn t hab no flexions to cast onto myself 
if anyting should happen to my ole man." 

Wall," sez I in deep earnest, " if you keep on in 
this way you ll find that sunthin will happen, for 
no livin stomach can stand such a strain cast onto 
it, unless it is," sez I reasonably, " a goat or a mule. 
I have hearn that they can digest stove-pipe and tin 
cans. But a human stomach must break down 
under it. And I d advise you to feed him on good 
plain bread and toast till he gets well, and keep 
your preserves for meal-times and company. And 
I d advise you to set them great boys of yourn to 
work stiddy, and not by fits and starts, and you ll 
have as much agin comfert in your house, and health 


But, good land ! I might jest as well have talked 
to the wind, or better. For the wind, even if it 
didn t pay no attention to my remarks as it proba 
bly wouldn t, specially if it wuz blowin hard it 
wouldn t get mad. It would jest blow right on, and 
blow my remarks right away, and blow jest as friend 
ly as ever. 

But she got mad mad as a hen. And she didn t 
send after milk for as much as three days. But it 
didn t hold out ; she sent on the fourth day. 

But it didn t change their course any. He kep on 
a eatin hot biscuit and butter and preserves, when 
they had em, night and day, and they all would. 
And when they hadn t anything to eat, arid couldn t 
get anything in any other way, why, they would go 
without till they wuz most starved, and then they 
would sally out and work a day or two, and then 
the same scenes would be enacted right over agin. 

Good land ! there didn t seem to be no use of talk- 
in , and still I sort o kep on. 

There wuz one boy amongst em, and that wuz 
St. Luke, and mebby it wuz because he wuz named 
after that likely old apostel, and then, agin, mebby 
it wuzn t ; but anyway, he did seem to have a little 
more pride and a little more sense and gumption 
than the rest. 

And I kep a naggin at him, and his Pa and Ma, 
and Thomas J. and Maggie, and Josiah, till with a 
tremendus effort I did get that boy into a new suit 
of clothes and started him off to work for his board 
and go to school at a place about three miles off. 
And though he run away five times in as many 
weeks twice to come home and three times to go a 


fishin I kep on, and by argument, and persuasion, 
and a new jack-knife, and a coaxin him up, and per- 
suadin the folks to try him a little longer, I got him 
quelled down, and he begun to go easier in the har 
ness, and stiddier. And his teacher sez " he will 
make a smart boy yet." 

So I see jest what I always knew wuz a fact, " that 
while the lamp holds out to burn the vilest sinner 
may return." 

And if I wuz a goin to sing that him, I would 
omit two words in the last stanza, and for the words 
vilest sinner" I would sing " shiftless creeter." 

For these two words are what will apply to his 
hull family, root and branch, specially the roots. 
Shiftless, ornary, no account, father and mother 
both ; and bein full of shiftless, no account qualities, 
and bein married, what could they do, or be expect 
ed to do, but bring into the world a lot of still shift- 
lesser, no accounter creeters ? 

Inheritin shiftlessness, and lazyness, and improvi 
dence on both sides, with their own individual lazy- 
ness and no accountness added, what can we expect 
of these offsprings ? 

But still I see in the case of St. Luke, as in the 
words of the him I quoted, that there is in educa 
tion and the wholesome restraints of proper livin 
and trainin a hope for them for the poor blacks 
and the poor whites, for the poor whites are jest as 
shiftless, jest as ignorant, and jest as no account. 



NE mornin we wuz all a settin out 
on the big piazza, for it wuz a cloud 
less day, and it wuz exceedingly 
pleasant out there. 

Snow wuz a settin to one side a 
playin with her little dolly that I 
Had carried down to her a nice one, with real hair 
and very round blue eyes and red cheeks. 

I bought it at Loontown, at a expense of over 
seventy-five cents, and dressed it myself, with a little 
of Philury s help about the boddist waist. 

Its dress wuz pink cambrick trimmed heavy with 
white linen lace it wuz some I had on a nightcap, 
but it wuz so firm it had wore the nightcap out. It 
wuz a very good and amiable-lookin* doll when we 
had got it all trimmed off, and Snow thought her 
eyes on it. 

She had named it to once Samantha Maggie Tir- 
zah Ann. 


" After the hull caboodle on us," as Josiah said ; 
but at my request she called it Dolly. 

Good land ! I thought I never could hear her a goin* 
round a talkin* about Samantha Maggie Tirzah Ann. 
The idee ! It would have been too much for 

Wall, she wuz a settin a playin with Dolly, and 
anon sort o lookin up and taikin to somebody she 
didn t see. Wuzn t it queer how she would always 
do this, and smile confidential at em, and wave her 
little white hand to em sometimes, as if in greetin or 
good-bye ? 

Queer, but pretty in her, so I always thought. 

I wish I knew who she had in her mind when she 
done it, or if she see anybody or hearn anybody. 
For once in a while she would sort o* lift up her lit 
tle smilin face and seem to listen listen. 

Wall, she wuz a beautiful child and every child 
has its pretty ways and its dretful curius ones, its 
angel traits and its tuther ones. Bless their sweet 
hearts, wherever they be ! I love the hull on em, 
and can t help it. 

Boy wuz a layin* in his little crib, and Genieve 
wuz a settin by it a mindin the child. And my son 
and daughter, Thomas Jefferson and Maggie, wuz a 
settin near each other (that is where they would 
always be if they had their own way). 

Thomas J. was readin* a little to her out of a new 
book that come in a box of books the night before, 
and Maggie wuz a sewin on a little white dress for 

Cousin John Richard wuz partly a layin down on 
a bamboo couch with a lot of pillows to his back he 



had had a dretful backache for a day or two. But 
he wuz a lookin some more comfortable than he 
had, and not quite so wan, but he wuz still fur 
wanner than I loved to see him. I myself wuz a 
knittin and occasionally a liftin my eyes to look 
over the path that led to the village, for my com 
panion had walked down there to get a pair of new 

I knew it wuzn t time for him to get back yet ; but 
such is woman s love, I kep watch of the track on 
which I expected to see the beloved form approach- 
in* bimeby. 

That man is almost my idol. 

It hain t right to worship a human creeter I know ; 
and then agin, sometimes, when I would meditate 
on the wickedness of my bein so completely 
wrapped up in him, I have tried to exonerate my 
self by this thought : 

The children of Israel wuz commanded not to 
worship anything that wuz like anything else in 
heaven or on earth. And I have sometimes felt that 
I would get clear on that head if I knelt to him every 
day and burned incense under him, and made a per 
fect Dagon of him. 

For my dear companion is truly onlike anything I 
ever see or hearn on ; his demeaners is different, and 
his acts and his talk under excitement. And his 
linement looks fur different from any other iolks es 

But I am a digressin , and to resoom. 

We sot there as happy as a nest full of turkle 
doves, when all of a sudden the girl come up with a 
card on a little silver server, and handed it to Mag- 


gie as if it wuz a cracker or a cup of tea, and Mag 
gie took it and read out : 

" Colonel Seybert." 

And Thomas J. spoke up and told the girl to ask 
the Colonel out there where we wuz ; and so she 
did, and sot him a chair by Thomas J., out amongst 
the rose-vines. 

He come in as polite as ever, and accosted us all 
in a very genteel way. He had brought Maggie a 
great bunch of orchids, and said " the Madam had 
sent them to her with her compliments." 

He meant his wife he most always called her so. 

The posys he brought wuz very rare. They grow 
on air mostly, and only have the very slightest soil 
to connect em with the earth. 

And from all accounts (I thought to myself) that 
wuz the way that his angel of a wife lived herself. 
Almost all of the roots of her sweet nater wuz in 
heaven. Jest enough connection with this world so 
all could see the brightness and bloom and size of 
the divine flower of holiness that sprung up out of 
her lone, unhappy life. 

Maggie took the flowers and thanked him, and 
told him to tell Mrs. Seybert how much she prized 
her kind thoughtfulness, and how sorry she wuz to 
hear of her continued ill health. 

That woman, from all I hear, hain t long for this 

Wall, they all passed the time of day in politeness 
and general conversation, till for my life I can t 
hardly tell how it begun but I believe Col. Sey 
bert had had some trouble with his colored help 
but anyway and tenny rate, Col. Seybert launched 


out into a perfect tirade of abuse of the black 

He didn t notice Genieve a settin there no more n 
a ice-cold avalanche would stay its course for a idle- 
wiss blossom no ; it would crunch right along 
down and crush the blossom without any pity or 

Good land ! you don t look for pity, or considera 
tion, or any other of the soft, warm-souled graces in 
a avalanche of snow and ice, or the nater of a bad 

But I jest think my eyes of Genieve, and so duz 
Maggie and all on us, and we every one on us tried 
to turn the conversation into more peaceful chan 

Why, I myself brung up religion, turnips, catnip, 
the tariff, the Dismal Swamp, and oranges, a tryin 
to get his mind off. 

And Maggie brung up as many, if not more n \ 
did, and Thomas J. the same, and etcetery. 

And even little Snow, seemin to understand what 
wuz incumbent on her to do as a little lady, brung 
up the doll and showed her to the Colonel, and 
called her by her hull name, Samantha Maggie Tir- 
zah Ann. 

As for Cousin John Richard, we didn t expect no 
outlay of strength from him, feelin , as he did, in 
pain all the time. 

But Maggie, seein , I spoze, our efforts wuz futiler 
than we could hope, tried to make another diversion 
by orderin in a pitcher of drink made from the juice 
of oranges and pineapples, very sweet and delicious. 
But he drinked it right off and went on ; it seemed 


to jest refresh him and renew his strength to talk 
we see he couldn t be stopped nohow. 

And seein he wuz a neighbor, and seein tha f 
Genieve sot there jest as calm as a mornin in June, 
and didn t seem to care a mite about his talk, why, 
we had to let him take his swing and talk his talk 

But before several minutes had passed I jest found 
myself a soarin up onbeknown to myself, and I felt 
that I must, if he went on much longer, jest wade 
in and give him a piece of my mind, and I felt that 
I shouldn t scrimp him in the piece nuther. 

Why, his talk wuz scandalous. 

He talked as if the blacks wuz of no more conse 
quence than so many black ants on a ant-hill, and it 
seemed as if he would love to jest walk right over 
em and crush em all down under his heel. 

Why, he showed such a deadly horstility, and 
contempt, and sco.n to em and to everything con 
nected with em, that at last I had to speak out. 

And sez I, " If you feel, like that, I shouldn t think 
you would oppose em in their skeme of coloniza 
tion." (I knew jest how bitter he had been about 
his brother Victor goin , and the rest of his laborers.) 

Sez I, " I should think, if you had such a opinion 
of em, the sooner you could get rid of the hull 
caboodle of em the better you would like it." 

He fairly scowled, he looked so mad. 

But the thought of Genieve sort o boyed me up, 
and duty, and I didn t care for his black looks, not 
a mite. 

And I felt that bein a visitor myself, I could 
branch out and argue with him to a better advantage 


to the laws of horspitality than if I wuz master or 
mistress of the house. So, as I sez, seein him de 
termined to cut and slash, I jest boldly waded in. 

But, good land ! of all the talk, he did go on and 
talk about the deep and stupendous folly of coloniza 

Why, he brung up every argument he could think 
on aginst the idee, and piled em up in front of me. 
But I jest sot there calmly a knittin , a seamin two 
and one, and a not bein skairt by any of em. 

And pretty soon I spoze it wuz seein that I 
looked as calm as a summer day he sort o curbed 
himself in, as it were, and begun to talk some calmer 
and composeder. 

And sez he, " If there wuz no other insurmountable 
objection, look at the expense, the enormous cost of 
taking the blacks to Africa and supporting em there 
till they could become self-supporting." 

And I sez, " Will it make the conundrum any 
easier to get the answer to, to wait till the black peo 
ple are twice as numerous ? They obey the Bible 
strictly when it tells em to multiply and replenish 
the earth. In less than twenty years they will out 
number the white race here by a million or more. 
What will be done then ?" 

" Keep them under," sez he. " Let them keep 
their place, the place the Lord designed them for, as 
servants tt> the white man. And then," sez he, " one 
white man could control a hundred of the beasts." 

But I sez, " To say nuthin of the right or wrong 
of that matter, that day has gone by. They have 
tasted the air of freedom, and that sweet air always 
blows out the flower of liberty, not slavery. You 


can t put em back in their chains agin. Education 
and culture and the Emancipation Proclamation has 
forever done away with that. 

" You can never make em slaves agin, but you 
can be their slaves. The white race, so long domi 
nant, if it still cultivates the habits of tyranny, and 
cruelty, and injustice, it can be made slaves to the 
dominant black race ; for it is, as you well know, 
only a question of a few years when they will out 
number the white people here. 

"And which would you ruther have, the black 
shadow growin deeper and deeper every year on 
this continent, and sectional hatred and race preju 
dice, and fear, and distrust, and jealousy, and alarm, 
and a constant variance all the time, onrest, and de 
spair, and helplessness which would you ruther 
have, them cruel spirits to camp down by you for 
good, and a growin worse all the time, or to make 
a big effort and heave the load off for good, and clear 
the air of all the bad atmosphere of internal and 
inevitable war, and let Peace settle down on this 
onhappy land agin ? For it would be jest as great 
a relief to the oppressor as to the oppressed. Lots 
of good folks South have all their life groaned under 
this problem of what to do with this burden laid 
upon their backs by their ancestors. 

They wanted to do right, but didn t see their 
way clear. They wanted to solve this problem, but 
it wuz too big for em." 

Then Maggie, bless her sweet soul, spoke up, and 
sez she, " /believe in the great power of Christian 
ity and education." 

And Col. Seybert sez, " They have got too much 


education now ; that is what ails the brutish up 
starts. In the old times, when they couldn t read 
nor write nor put on any of their cursed airs, you 
could get along as well again with them." 

Cousin John Richard bent on him a look that held 
in each eye a hull Sermon on the Mount and the 
Ten Commandments, besides lots of Gospel, and 
pity, and a sort of contempt too. 

It wuz a strange look. 

But I wouldn t demean myself by even answerin 
him, but replied to my daughter, and sez : 

1 I don t see how any one can help thinkin that 
Christianity and education are the best solutions of 
this problem that can possibly be found if the black 
man remains here/ or wherever he is, I added rea 
sonably, in my own mind. 

These, with an educated sufferage, that includes 
the best of black and white, male and female, bond 
and free, is, in my opinion, the only hope of this 
Nation under these circumstances. 

But," sez I, religion, though it can do almost 
anything, yet there are sonpe things it hain t never 
done, and I don t spoze ever will do : it hain t never 
took the spots often a leopard s back or made a 
jackal coo like a dove or a serpent walk upright, or 
a turkle dove mate with a tiger. 

The One who made all nater and true religion, 
who holds the heavens and earth and seas in His 
hands, has laid down certain laws ever sence the 
creation of the world. And it is perfectly impossi 
ble for us to break down them laws, or climb over 
em, or creep under em. 

There they are, firm, iimimtible, not to be stirred 


one jot or tittle by all the strength that can be 
brought to bear aginst em. And Hypocrisy and 
Cant hain t a goin to help any by sayin that Re 
ligion is a doin sunthin that it can t do. 

" So, what can we do ? All we have got to do in 
this matter is to acknowledge them laws and submit 
to em ; ignorin em or walkin by em with our heads 
up in the air a pretendin we don t see em don t 
amount to anything at all, only we are liable to 
stumble and fall down ourselves. 

"And one of these laws is the inherient difference 
between the black and the white races. 

There is no use a arguin on it and a sayin that it 
is onreasonable, and it ort to be overcome, etc. 

Who sez it is reasonable ? I don t. It would be 
awful convenient sometimes if water would run up 
hill ; but it won t. And I have to accept the plain 
fact and lug the water up hill in a pail. For me to 
stand on top of the hill and holler for it to come up 
would be foolish. I might yell all my life, and 
couldn t start a drop up hill, and my lungs would be 
tired out for nuthin . And you might think some 
times that a good old childless cat might adopt a 
mouse ; but she won t, only in one way. Mebby it 
hain t Christian in her, but she wuz made that way. 
If she accepts it at all, it will be inside of her. I 
can t help it, and she can t. She wuz made that way 
before the mountains wuz formed, like as not. 

" Religion can do much, but it never has made 
black white or put the nater of a eagle into a snail, 
or the virtues of a angel under the hide of a bear. 

"And the spellin book is extremely desirable and 
good, and highly worthy, and to be praised. But 


then there are things too strong for education to 
overcome. For instance, to draw up the simely 
that I have drawed before it hain t poetick, but one 
which is familiar to men or wimmen : Education 
can t put a number seven foot into a number three 

No, it can t be did, and education may orate to 
them big toes in Greek or Latin, and it may read 
essays to em in words of seven or eight syllables, 
and quote all the poets to em, livin or dead, but it 
hain t a goin to quell em down, and make em any 
smaller. It hain t a goin to get em into that 

"And when folks talk too much about the sud 
den miracles that education and Christian teachin* 
is going to do to the black race, and seem to expect 
em to become perfect all to once, I want to ask em 
why it hain t made our own race perfect ? 

" The white race has had the benefit of Christian 
ity and Education for hundreds of years, and all the 
means of culture, and it hain t hendered em from 
bein as mean as the Old Harry to the black man, 
and they despise and wrong the negro jest as much 
to-day as if St. Paul had never preached or Jesus 
had not died for the world." 

(I meant some on em I didn t mean all ; but I 
wuz kinder carried away by my own eloquence.) 

Now," sez I, " it is a settled thing, and can t 
be got round, this inherient, instinctive difference 
between the black and white races if they would, 
they never can amalgamate and be a united people. 

I have said it and repeated it time and agin, and 
it is true every time, and will keep on bein true 


after my poor, feeble, falterin tongue lies silent in 
the grave. 

I sez this in a kinder him axent, very strikin and 
touchin , but Col. Seybert wuzn t touched nor struck 
by it, as I could see ; but I kep on all the same. 

"As I have said, time and agin, this law has 
stood ever sence creation ; and so what is the use of 
thinkin it can be broke up by writin on a little slip 
of paper at Washington, D. C. ? 

" Good land ! angels and principalities, and 
powers, and things present and things to come, 
nor height, nor depth, nor any other creeter has 
never made any difference in that law, nor never 

"And then how silly to think a little mite of 
paper, made out of old rags and straw, mebby, and 
wrote over with a few man-made words by a steel 
pen, is a goin to overcome this law and vanquish it ! 
Why, it can t be done. And your talk, and my talk, 
and talk from all the pulpits and legislators in the 
world is only a few whiffs of air a blowin over this 
law a refreshin of it, so to speak. 

Now, this is a settled thing, and it only remains 
for us to deal with it the best way we can." 

Col. Seybert, I believe, wuz fairly orowbeat and 
stunted to hear such remarkable eloquence from a 
female ; but he wouldn t demean himself by ownin 
it in fact, he wanted to give me a rebuke for ven- 
turin out of what he considered a woman s spear. 

He did not dain a reply to me, but he kinder 
wheeled round in his chair and accosted Cousin 
John Richard. He hadn t said a word to him only 
when he wuz introduced to him he passed the usual 


compliments. But he had hearn about him a sight, 
I know, and his labors amongst the freedmen, and I 
spoze mebby half of his mean talk had been aimed 
at that good creeter a lay in there on the lounge with 
a rug over his feet and three plasters onto his dear 
achin back. 

And then he didn t want to hear me talk any more 
I could see that, and he branched right off onto 
another branch of the subject, and sez he to John 
Richard : 

I should think your preaching would have some 
effect if you are a preacher of Christ. You ought to 
teach the niggers to depend on the consolation of 
the Gospel, and you ought to preach the Gospel of 
Peace ; and that means, I should think, to have the 
niggers obey their masters, and so save war and 
bloodshed, instead of inciting them to rebellion and 
putting absurd ideas into their heads about coloniza 
tion and a country of their own." He spoke in a 
dretful sneerin , disagreeable tone, that madded 
me more n considerable ; but John Richard s face 
wuz as serene as new milk, and he answered calmly, 
in a voice kinder low from sickness, but clear as 
a silver bell : 

" The Book says, There is a time for peace and a 
time to resist oppression. 

And I spoke up agin, bein bound to take John 
Richard s part, and keep him from talkin all I 
could, sick as he wuz, and them plasters all a 
drawin . 

I sez, " No doubt the colonies wuz preached to to 
set down in chains and enjoy religion, and give up 
all idees of independence ; but our old 4 fathers 



Couldn t be made to feel so. They seemed to feel 
that the time had come when the Lord wuz a goin 
to lead em out iiito freedom. And they felt they 
wuz a preachin the Gospel of Liberty and Freedom, 
the backbones of Christianity, when they struck out 
for Indeoendence." 



Cousin John Richard looked real satisfied to me, 
though wan, as I went on, and sez he : 

Yes, to resist intolerable and unjust laws has 
always been considered lawful and right." 

" But," sez Col. Seybert, " the Bible commands 
you, if you are smitten on one cheek to turn the 
other also." 

Then why don t you do it ?" sez I, all wrought 
up. " Your race has had centuries of Christianity 


to civilize and Christianize it, and why don t you set 
a example to the ignorant ones ? Mark out a sam 
pler that they can foller on and copy. Why don t 
your Regulators and your Ku-Kluxers turn their 
right cheeks ? I d love to have em turn em to me 
a spell," sez I darkly. 

Col. Seybert kinder snorted out sunthin that I 
didn t quite hear. I believe, and always shall, that 
there wuz a cuss word in it ; but I didn t care, and 
before I could speak agin, Cousin John Richard s 
calm voice riz up a sayin : 

" You say this race is totally ignorant and brutish, 
and yet you expect high qualities from them ex 
traordinary virtues. You expect patience more 
perfect than long years of training has given the 
white race. You expect endurance, nobility, for 
bearance, forgiveness of injuries and wrongs in fact, 
you expect the goodness of angels and the wisdom 
of Solomon, and expect an insolvable problem to be 
solved by those you rank with your cattle. 

It is a strange thing," sez Cousin John Richard, 
as he lay back agin on his cushions. But I went up 
and gin him a spoonful of spignut before I let him 
speak agin. 

Col. Seybert waved off John Richard s noble re 
buke, and went on on his old ground : 

Your teachers and preachers have overrun the 
South ever since the War, with your carpet-bags full 
of Bibles and hymn-books, and tracts, and spelling- 
books. Why don t you sit down now and wait and 
see the fruit of your labors ripen about you instead 
of encouraging them in this preposterous idea of 
colonization ?" 


But Cousin John Richard sez gently but strongly : 

" Perhaps this is the fruit that the Lord of the 
harvest is causing to spring up from the seeds plant 
ed in the hearts of this people. Perhaps the full 
ripening of this fruit depends upon the sunshine of 
another and a calmer sky." 

" Yes," sez I, " who knows but this race, who 
stood harmless and patient durin the War, while 
the first half of their chains wuz bein struck offen 
em, who showed such a spectacle of remarkable 
magnanimity and wisdom that the hull world ad 
mired and wondered, and who used their first weak 
strength to fight for the safety of the race that had 
held them in bondage the race that could do 
this," sez I, " has got the strength and the divine 
nobility and wisdom to get their full liberty in a 
nation of their own without the sound of a gun or 
the liftin of an arm in warfare. 

They will do it, too," sez I, carried away and en 
thused by the thought of how this people had stood 
still and see the salvation of the Lord. 

Sez I, " They will not turn into a brutal, blood 
thirsty mob now, after Thus far the Lord hath led 
them on. " 

I repeated these last words in my melodius him 
axents ; but Col. Seybert wuzn t melted by it no, 

He went on in witherin axents aginst the idee of 
colonization ; sez he in conclusion : 

" If there was not any other insurmountable ob 
jection to the project, the expense would be so enor 
mous that the Government never would nor never 
could undertake it." 


"As to the never could, we might leave that 
out," sez I, " and deal with the never would. For 
the never could hain t true. If a war should break 
out to-morrow between this country and England, 
do you believe that this country never could furnish 
the means to carry it on ? Why, it would seem the 
easiest thing in the world to raise millions on mill 
ions of dollars. 

; It would seem the only thing and the right 
thing to do to imegiatly and to once raise ten times 
the amount that would be necessary to take the hull 
black race to the Congo Valley and support em 
there for a year. 

They would do this because public safety de 
manded it ; and I can tell em plain that they will 
most probable see the day, and pretty soon too, that 
the public safety demands em to do as they d ort to 
in this case. 

1 Who got the black race here ? They didn t 
want to come no, fur from it. This nation got em 
here ; and now, as the two races can t live together 
in peace, and the land is gettiri too small for both of 
em, if the white race don t want to leave the coun 
try themselves, let em carry this people back to the 
land they stole ern from. 

They wouldn t all go ; it hain t probable nor 
possible to suppose such a thing. 

There are many who would be perfectly willin 
to remain here, and who would perhaps be better 
off by doin so many aged ones who would choose 
to stay here and go to heaven from the land of their 
adoption, many who have a flourishin business, and 


are doin well here, and who do not wish an im 
mediate change. 

" But the Race Problem would be solved if the 
main body of the host passed over into the New Re 
public. The few that remained would not endanger 
the commonwealth, and would most likely, in the 
fulness of time, and as the glowin story of the New 
Republic reached their ears, be gathered into the 
Land of Promise, to become leaders there, and help 
ers of the weak." 

Sez Col. Seybert, " They would starve there. 
They are a low, degraded, helpless, lazy set. They 
had rather lay in the sun and do nothing than to 

As Col. Seybert said this he lay back in his chair 
in a still more lazy and luxurious manner, and 
stretched out his long legs in the sun. 

(What wuz he doin himself, I d like to know ? 
Talk about laziness ! the idee !) 

And I sez, " Wall, it s easier for most folks to 
rest than it is for em to work. As to their entire 
helplessness and ignorance, twenty-five years ago 
there wuz never an escapin Union prisoner who 
found a negro so low and ignorant that he could not 
help him to escape ; or so destitute of resources and 
influence that he could not command the help of 
other black men. 

In fact, there wuz a great silent army kep up 
under the surface, a systematic underground rail 
road, maintained and controlled in the most efficient 
and prudent manner by this despised people all 
through the War. Twenty-five years of partial 



education and partial freedom has not weakened this 
foresight and caution. 

" If they could carry on this secret and most dan 
gerous enterprise right under the eyes of their ene 
mies without violence or bloodshed, if they could, 
under peril of detection and death, pilot a helpless 
Unionist through a network of dangers Confed 
erate soldiers, spies, pickets, false friends, and foes 
out into safety, it seems as if they might conduct 
their own selves through the environing camps of 
ignorance and need, out into safety and prosperity. 

" Specially, as they would be out from under the 
paralyzin gaze of enemies, out where they wuz 
breathin free air, and amongst friends. 

I have been spozin ," sez I, " that the Nation 
should do as it ort to, and when it borrys a thing- 
take it back home agin, jest as I would do if I bor- 
ryed a cat of Miss Gowdey, or Josiah would do if 
he borryed a horse. 

We should carry em back when we got through 
with em, specially if we stole em (though you 
wouldn t ketch us at it). 

:< I have been spozin that Uncle Sam should rig 
out a few ships and put some money in his pockets, 
and take back a few shiploads of this people, and 
start em to livin in the beautiful Congo Valley. 

I should think as much agin of him if he would. 
And he would think more of himself, I would bet. 

He would stand riz up in the eyes of the othef 
admirin nations of the world as a man that wuz hon 
est and laid out to do as he had ort to do, and as 
he would be done by. 

" Why, if Uncle Sam had been stole away frorp 


his home and his faithful Columbia, and had been 
worked to death, and whipped, and abused every 
way, wouldn t he be glad to be took back to his own 
home agin, and wouldn t he expect the ones that 
stole him to do it ? 

" Yes, indeed. 

" Then why hain t he willin to do as he would be 
done by ? 

" But as I say, I have been spozin this, that 
Uncle Sam should turn honest and do this ; but 
some think the colored people would do it them 

" They have amassed millions of dollars sence the 
War, in the face of the almost intolerable drawbacks 
put upon em. You will find thousands of em 
ownin their houses and lands ; you will find thou 
sands and thousands of wealthy ones ; you will find 
a hundred thousand graduates of schools and col 
leges, and fillin every station lawyers, clergymen, 
senators, and every place where merit can win, and 
the law couldn t keep them down they have found 
their way. That don t look like entire helplessness 
and ignorance, duz it ? for they have done all this 
with the tide settin full aginst em, right in the 
face of class prejudice, and unjust laws, and customs, 
and rivalry, and hatred." 

14 Well, of course," sez Col. Seybert, " there are 
some intelligent niggers, and industrious ones ; but 
look at the mass, the ignorant, depraved, totally in 
competent ones." 

And I sez, " There has been a few in our own 
race, ignorant, shiftless, lazy, and depraved, who has 
learnt the colored men to be vicious for 200 years. 


And as for laziness, it seems as if there had to be 
some drones amongst the hive of busy workers. 
Nater has seemed to plan it so for some reason, I 
can t tell why, nor Josiah can t. 

" Now, with our bees, there are sights of drones 
that don t do nuthin only steal and eat up what the 
workers work so hard for. 

" I don t see why it is so ; it is one of Nater s 

" And in all communities there has got to be some 
lazy, shiftless hangers-on. And the strong will have 
to do till the end of time, so far as I can see, what 
the Bible tells em to : * Bear the burdens of the 

I don t know as there will ever be any change," 
sez I, lookin dreamily off beyend Col. Seybert into 
the everlastin strangeness of things present and 
things to come " I don t know as there will ever be 
any change in that particiler, for the Bible sez ex- 
pressly : 

" The poor you always have with you/ 

" And always means always, I spoze ; and poor 
means poor in every sense of the word, I have cal 

" And that text applies to black and white folks 

But as I have said prior and heretofore, if the 
colored people have done so well in the last twenty- 
five years, in spite of all the burdens and hindrances 
of race prejudice and the weights that unjust laws 
impose on em, by the hatred and envy of them that 
can t bear to see their prosperity if they have done 
so well in the chill and the dark, as yon may say, 


what can t they do when they come out in the light 
and the warmth of a place where sure rewards wait 
upon honest labor where the atmosphere is helpful, 
and inspirin , and hopeful, instead of icy, and drag- 
gin down, and chokin , and stiflin . 

" Where their color is fashionable, and not a 
badge of disgrace. 

Where their rulers will be them that love em 
and seek their best good, their own people, their 
peers, only wiser and more helpful than they be as 
the Declaration of Independence sez free men must 
be, in a free land, judged by their peers, their equals. 

Where there will not be dishonest members of 
an alien and dominant race to step in and steal their 
first poor earnings in the name of law or might, or 

Where their daughters, if beautiful, will be free 
from their ruler s lust, and their small possessions 
safe from his avarice. 

If in the last quarter of a century in this perse 
cuted, hampered state they have been able to ac 
cumulate, in one of the worst States of the Union 
for them, six million dollars worth of property, 
what can they do in the next twenty years, when 
their labor and their persons will be protected by 
the law, and they will be encouraged by wise ad 
vice, and their intellects and reason enriched and 
broadened by education and means of culture?" 

Genieve s dark, beautiful eyes jest brightened and 
glowed as I talked ; she fairly hung onto my words, 
as I could see. 

But," sez Col. Seybert, " they don t want to 


Thomas J. leaned back in his chair in deep enjoy 
ment of his Ma s talk, as I could see plain ; and he 
says to Col. Seybert : 

" How do you know they don t want to go?" 


" Because I do know it," sez he. " They say 
they are not Africans now, but Americans ; they have 
a right here ; they have just as good right here now 
as we have." 

" Wall, I don t dispute that idee," sez I. 

" I have got a right to go and set down in ou] 


swamp and set there ; but I should be dretful apt to 
get all covered with mud and mire, I couldn t see 
nuthin but dirt and slosh ; the bad, nasty air would 
make me deathly sick, to say nuthin of my bein bit 
to death by muskeeters and run over by snakes and 
toads, etc. 

It hain t a question of right nobody could dis 
pute that I would have a right to stay there if I wuz 
a minter ; but the question is, would it be as well for 
me as it would to move up on the higher ground out 
of the filth, and darkness, and sickly, deathly air and 
influences, etc., etc., etc. ?" 

Col. Seybert waved off these noble and convincin 
remarks of mine, and kep on a sayin* his former say. 
And he spoke the words in the axent of one who has 
settled the matter and put on the final argument. 

They don t want to go, that is a reason nobody 
can get round." 

He looked triumphant, as if lie had settled the hull 
matter ; but he hadn t. 

I sez, " I d no whether they do or not ; you say 
they don t, somebody else may say they do. But 
anyway, I don t know as that is much of a reason," 
sez I ; for my mind is such that as I hearn Col. Sey- 
bert s big, swellin talk, my mind seemed to look at 
the matter from Genieve s and Victor s eyes more 
and more I am made so, jest so sort o curius. 

But I am all made now, and can t help it ; I have 
got to take myself as I am. 

And I sez, " I don t know as that is very much of 
a reason about their not wan tin to go. I don t be 
lieve there has ever been any blows struck for free 
dom and liberty sence the world begun but what 


theie has been some that the blows wuz a bein* dealt 
for, to hang onto the axe-helve and beg the choppers 
to stop. 

* There has always been them who had, as Mr. 
Shakespeare sez, Ruther endure the ills they 
have than fly round to others that they don t know 
so much about, sort o oncertain. 

" Strikin blows for freedom hain t like cuttin 
down a tree. You know what you are a strikin 
when you hit into a maple or a ellum. The axe hits 
aginst sunthin solid, and the chips fly. 

" But strikin out for freedom is sometimes a hit- 
tin out aginst emptiness in the dark. You know 
your cause is good, you know you are a fightin for 
the most precious thing in the world, but you can t 
exactly see before you, and you don t feel anything 
solid, and you don t see the chips fly it is sort o 
oncertain and resky. 

You can t seem to see the immediate result of 
your blows. And so it hain t no wonder to me that 
lots of weak ones, arid skairt ones, and so-called 
prudent ones, cry out and hang onto the axe and 
try to stop the noble chopper s hands. They don t 
want a change. The old Torys in the Revolution 
didn t want a change. It wuz strikin out in the 
darkness and bringin dangers and war onto ttieir 
heads. They didn t want to go away from English 

" But the noble band of choppers kep on a hack- 
in the tree of tyranny till it crashed down and they 
walked over its prostrate trunk into freedom ; and 
the weak ones wuz glad enough when the dangers 
wuz all past, and they sot down under the joy bells 


of 1776 and leaned their backs up aginst Bunker 
Hill, and enjoyed themselves first rate. 

The Israelites didn t want a change. They 
didn t want to go out of the land of bondage. Lots 
of livin ties united em to the land of their birth, 
ind lots of onseen ones too. The graves of their 
ancestors, and memories, and loves, and joys, and 
sorrows all hung onto their heart-strings, and they 
didn t want to go. 

" But Moses wuz m the right on t. And they 
come out at last into a land flowin with milk and 

And they wuz glad they went. 
The Unbelievers didn t want Jesus for a King 
and a Ruler they didn t want a change. They fit 
aginst God s plan for em, and conquered, so they 
thought. But they didn t, and now the world is 
glad on t, as it stands under the glow a fallin from 
the glorious twentieth century. 

" Ask the United Christian Nations of the World 
if it hain t a blessed change. Ask em if they 
hain t glad they went out of the superstitions and 
bondage of the old dispensation, out into the glorious 
liberty of the Gospel, out under the blessed rule of 
the Prince of Peace. 

" No, Col. Seybert, I don t think it is much of a 
reason, even if it is true, to say that the negroes 
don t want to go. In all these cases I have brung 
up and I might go on a bringin em up and a layin 
em down in front of you for hours and hours if it 
would do any good but in all on em, as in these 
supreme cases I have mentioned, what difference 
did it make in the end whether the majority wuz 



willin or not to be saved, only in the discourage 
ment and trouble it made the noble few who see 
clear from the beginnin to the end ? 

"What difference did their onwillingness make ? 
The best, the right wuz done. The minority wuz 


wise and the majority wrong, as is dretful apt to be 
the case in this world. And the people wuz led 
through darkness, and sorrow, and onwillingness out 
into the broad sunshine. Led through Jordan s 
stormy waves, out into Canaan s fair and happy land, 
where their possessions lay. 

I had fell into that kinder melodius axent of mine 
almost entirely onbeknown to me, for it wuz from a 


him that I wuz quotin . But it didn t seem to im 
press Col. Seybert as I wanted it to. 

He looked at his watch, and sez he : 

" I have got a pressing engagement in just five 
minutes by my watch ; I will bid you good-day." 

And he hastened off, and Thomas Jefferson 
laughed, and sez he : 

You talked him out, mother ; but," sez he, " I 
didn t know as you believed so strongly in coloniza 
tion ; I never heard you talk just in this way be 
fore. " 

"Wall," sez I, "the Race Problem is such a 
enormous conundrum that it is hard to know jest 
how to get the right answer to it. But," sez I, " I 
wuz a talkin jest now from Genieve s platform, I 
wuz a viewin the subject from her standpoint, and 
from Victor s, and also," sez I, glancin to where 
that dear man lay, lookin pleasant as ever, " from 
Cousin John Richard ses ;" and I added, " consid 
erable from my own." And sez I, a turnin to 
Genieve where she sot quietly with Boy in her arms, 
You don t feel any oncertainty as to this conun 
drum, do you ? You see your way clear to a right 
answer ?" 

Yes," sez she. And her eyes wuz as clear as 
two wells of pure water on which the stars wuz a 
shinin . 

Yes, I know what is best and what will take 
place in God s own time." 

There it wuz, no more doubt in her mind about 
the negroes havin a country and a nation of their 
own some time than there wuz to Moses as he stood 
on the mountain-top and looked over Jordan s 


stormy banks into the land that should be the home 
of his weary and sorrowful people. 

Genieve stood upon some invisible mountain-top ; 
we couldn t see this rise of ground, our eyes wuz 
too weak, but her feet wuz placed there. And she 
see over the rollin billows of turbulent factions, and 
swellin hatred, and mistaken zeal, and perils from 
friends, and perils from foes, and perils from high 
places, and perils from low ones, and the black 
waters of ignorance, and laziness, and discontent, 
and old habits and customs a breakin up and a 
dashin their spray here and there, and all the hor 
ror and woe and danger of an uprisin and a exodus 
she see over all these swellin waves into the fair 
country that lay beyend. 

We couldn t see the calm sunshine that lit the 
Promised Land, but we could see a faint glow from 
its radiance in Genieve s inspired eyes. 

She didn t say much, but her look spoke volumes 
and volumes. 


in his crib. 


HAT very night I went into Genieve s 
room to kiss Snow and Boy good 

But both the darlin s wuz fast asleep, 
Snow in her little white bed and Boy 
Their faces looked like fresh roses 
aginst their white pillers, and I did kiss em both, 
but light, so as not to wake em up. 

Sweet little creeters, I think my eyes on em. 
Genieve, I see, when I went in wuz a readin some 
book, and as I looked closter at it I see it wuz the 
Bible. I see she wuz a readin about her favorite 
topick, the old prophets and their doin s and their 
sayin s. 

And as I sot down a few minutes by the side of 
my sweet darlin s she begun to talk to me about 
Daniel, and St. John, and some of the rest of them 
good, faithful old prophets. 

Why, she wuz brung up with em, as you may say. 


She had sot under them old prophets ever sence 
she had sot at all. 

And why shouldn t she went on about em and 
love em when she had fairly drinked in their weird, 
fascinatin influence with her mother s milk? 

She wuz a readin about Daniel jest as I went \\\ 
about how Daniel stood by the deep waters and 
heard a voice sayin to him : 

" Understand." 

And sez she, with her great, beautiful eyes all 
aglow, " Don t you think that we who stand by deep 
waters to-day can hear the voice if we listen ?" 

" Yes," sez I, " I believe it from the bottom ol 
my heart ; if we do as Daniel did, set our hearts to 
understand, we can be kep from perils as he wuz, 
and we can hear that Divine Voice a biddin us to 
understand and to be strong." 

Sez I, " I believe that Voice almost always comes 
to us in the supreme moments of our greatest need. 
When we have been mournin as Daniel had, and 
eaten no pleasant bread, and lay with our faces on 
the ground by the deep waters, then comes One 
to us, onseen by them about us, and touches our 
bowed heads and sez : 

" Beloved, fear not. Peace be unto thee. Be 
strong. Yea, be strong. 

And then we went on and talked considerable, and 
she told me how her mother had read to her, as soon 
as she wuz able to understand anything, all about 
the prophets, and how she had always loved to 
think about em and their divine work. 

And I told her I felt jest so ; I thought they wuz 
likely old creeters, them and their wives too. 


And Genieve looked up dretful startled and sur 
prised, and said she had never thought about their 
wives, not at all. 

And I sez, " Like enough, nobody duz. Nobody 
ever did think anything about old Miss Daniel, or 
Miss Zekiel, or any of em. Nobody ever thought 
of givin the wimmen any credit, but they deserve 
it," sez I. "I believe they wuz likely old females, 
every one of em." 

Genieve still looked dretful wonderin , and as if I 
had put a bran new idee into her head. As much 
as she had pondered and studied them prophets, she 
never had gin a thought to them good old females 
faithful, hard-workin creeters, I believe they wuz. 

And she sez, sez she, " I never thought anything 
about them, whether they had any troubles or not." 

" No," sez I, " I spoze not, but I believe they had 
em, and I believe they had a tuckerin time on t 
more n half the time. 

11 Why," sez I, "it stands to reason they had. 
While their husbands wuz a sallyin out a prophesy- 
in , somebody had to stay to home and work, split 
kindlin wood, etc." 

Genieve looked kinder shocked, and I sez warmly : 

" Not but what I think a sight of them old 
prophets, sights of em. My soul burns within me, 
or almost burns, a thinkin of them old men of whom 
the world wuz not worthy, who had to tell the 
secret things that the Lord had revealed to em to 
the ears of a blasphemin and gainsayin world. I 
jest about worship em when I think of their trials, 
their persecutions, their death for duty s sake. 

" But while I honor them old men up to the very 


highest pint honor can go in a human breast, still I 
have feelin s for their wives I can t help feelin 
sorry for them poor old creeters. 

" Not a word do we hear about them, and it makes 
me feel bad to see my sect so overlooked and brought 
down to nort. 

" And I ll bet (or would bet if it wuzn t for princi 
ple) that old Miss Daniel, and Miss Zekiel, and 
Miss Hosey, and Miss Maleky, and all the rest of 
them old female wimmen had a tough time on t. 

" Why, if there wuzn t anything else to trouble em, 
it wuz enough to kill any woman to see the torment 
and persecutions that follered on after the man she 
loved. To see em wanderin about in sheepskin 
and goatskin, and bein afflicted, and destitute, and 

That wuz enough to break down any woman s 
happiness ; but they had to buckle to and work head 
work most likely to take care of themselves and 
their children. 

Destitute means privation and starvation for 
old Miss Prophet and the children, as well as for 
the husband and father. 

" And I ll bet that old Miss Hosey and Miss Maleky 
jest put to it and worked and made perfect slaves of 

" And with all this work, and care, and privation 
on their minds and hearts, they couldn t have got 
such a dretful sight of sympathy and companion 
ship out of their husbands, to say nuthin* of help and 
out -door chores. 

" For though the old prophets wuz jest as likely as 
likely could be and did what wuz perfectly necessary 



and right, still while they wuz out in the streets a 
hollerin Woe ! woe ! to this wicked city ! etc., 
etc., they couldn t at the same time be to home a 
talkin affectionate to their pardners or a sawin 

^ N 


wood. I ll bet old Miss Maleky picked up more than 
half she burned, and split pretty nigh all her own 
kindlin* wood, and killed her hens, and sot em, 
etc., etc 


" Them days seem a good ways off to us, and things 
seen through the misty, hazy atmosphere of so many 
years seem sort o easy to us. 

" But I don t spoze water would bile then without 
a fire no more than it would now.. And I spoze the 
dishes, or whatever they kep their vittles in then, 
had to be washed. 

" And I spoze the goatskins and sheepskins that 
them good old men wandered round in had to be 
cleaned every now and then it stands to reason they 
did. And I don t believe them prophets did it ; no, 
I don t believe they had the time to, even if they 
thought on t. 

" No ; I dare presume to say that every time you 
found a prophet you would find some woman a tak- 
in care on him, so he could have the freedom of 
mind and the absence of domestic cares neces 
sary to keep his soul the calm medium through 
which divine truth could pour down upon a sinful 

" The sieve must be held right end up or you can t 
sift through it ; hold it sideways or bottom end up, 
and where be you ? 

" No ; old Miss Hosey and Miss Maleky, I dare 
presume to say, jest wrastled round with house 
hold cares and left them old men as free as they 

" I ll bet the minds of them good old prophets 
wuzn t opset with pickin geese and ketchin gob 
blers, or makin hens set, or fastenin down the tent 
stakes if the wind come up sudden in the night. 

" No ; I ll bet Miss Hosey, that good old creeter, 
got up herself and hung onto them flappin ends and 


drove down the stakes herself, so s Mr. Hosey could 
get a I ttle sleep. Or if little Isaac, or Lemuel, or 
Rebeckah Hosey wuz took sudden with the croup 
or infantum, I ll bet it wuzn t old Mr. Hosey that 
got up and hunted round for the goose oil, or groped 
his way round and started up a fire, and steeped 
catnip, and heat cloths, and applied em. 

" No ; it wuz that good old female creeter every 
time, I wouldn t be afraid to say it wuz. 

" And ten to one if her pardner didn t wake up and 
ask her what she wuz makin such a noise for in 
the middle of the night, and tell her she wuz jest 
spilin them children a indulgin em so, and if she 
had kep their sandals on, they wouldn t have took 
cold/ etc., etc., etc. 

" And then if she got into bed agin with cold feet 
he complained bitterly of that. 

And so, I dare presume to say Miss Hosey or 
Miss Maleky, as the case might be, sot up with them 
children, pulled one way by her devoted affection 
for em, and the other way by her wifely love, and 
tried to keep em as still as she could, and shet up 
them babies if they went to cry, for her husband s 
sake, and tried to doctor em up for their own sake, 
and felt meachin through it all, borne down by the 
weight of her husband s onmerited blame and fault- 
findin . 

"And the next mornin , I dare presume to say, 
she went round with a headache, and got as good a 
breakfast as she could with what she had to do with ; 
and if her husband waked up feelin kind o chirk 
and said a kind word to her, or kissed her, I dare 
say she forgot all her troubles and thought she had 


the best husband in the world, and she wouldn t 
change places with anybody on earth. 

" For female human nater is about the same from 
Eve down to she that wuz Samantha Smith. 

" And then I dare presume to say that as bad as 
she felt, and as much as she needed a nap, she jest 
helped him off on his prophesying trip, did every 
thing she could for his comfort before he went, 
brushed his goatskin, and mebby cleaned it, and 
took care of the children till he come back, fed the 
camels, and watered the goats, and I dare presume 
to say got kicked by em, as bad as she felt. 

" Made her butter like as not she had a big 
churnin or a baggin I don t know but it ort to be 
called I spoze they used a bag instead of a churn. 

"And then mebby she had lots of little young 
goats and camels to bring up by hand. I shouldn t 
wonder if she had a camel corset that took lots of 

" And then mebby she had a lot of onexpected 
company come onto her old Miss Aminidab and 
her daughter-in-law, and old Miss Jethro, and Miss 
Lemuel and her children, a perfect tent full, and she 
had to buckle to and get dinner for em, and mebby 
dinner and supper ; and it would be jest like em to 
stay all night, the hull caboodle of em, and mebby 
she had to pound every mite of corn herself before 
she cooked for em. 

"And she all the while with a splittin headache, 
and her back a achin* as if it would break in two. 

" And then jest as they got onto their camels and 
sot out home agin, then like as not old Mr. Hosey 
would come home all wore out and onstrung from 



the persecutions he had had to contend with, and 
that good old female, as beat out as she wuz, would 
have to go to work to string him up agin, and soothe 
him, and encourage him to go on with his prophesy- 
in agin. 

. " But who thinks anything of these old female 
wimmen s labors and sufferin s ? Nobody. 


" Who thinks of their martyrdom, their efforts in 
the good cause, and the help they gin the old male 
prophets ? Nobody, not one. 

" I spoze the account of these things bein writ 
down by males and translated by em makes a differ 
ence ; it s sort o naterel to stand up for your own 

" But folks ort to own up, male or female ; and 
them old females ort to have justice done em. 

" And though it is pretty late in the day thou 
sands of years have flown by, and the dust of the 
desert lays deep over their modest, unassumin 
graves, where they have lain unnoticed and over 
looked by everybody 

" But here is one in Jonesville that is goin to 
brush away the thick dust that has drifted down 
over their memory, and tell my opinion of em. 

" It is too late now to tell them old Miss Prophets 
what I think of em, thousands of years too late to 
chirk em up, and lighten their achin hearts, and 
brighten their sad eyes by lettin em know the deep 
sympathy and affection I feel for em. 

" I can t make em hear my words, the dust lays 
too thick over their ears. 

" But yet I am a goin to say them words jest out 
of a love for justice. 

" Justice has stood for ages with the bandage on 
tight over her eyes on one side, on the side of wim- 
men, and her scales held out, blind as a bat to what 
them old females done and suffered. 

" But she has got a little corner lifted now on the 
side of wimmen ; Justice is a beginnin to peek out 
and notice that male and female created He them. 


" Bein so blind, and believin jest what wuz told 
her, Justice had got it into her head that it read : 

" Male created He them. 

" Justice never so much as hearn the name of wim- 
men mentioned, so we spoze. 

" But she is a liftin up her bandage and lookin 
out ; and it stands to reason she can weigh as well 
agin when she can see how the notches stand. 

" Jest even, so I ngger it out, jest even, men and 
wimmen, one weighin jest as much as the other. 

" If there are some ingregiencies in one of em 
that are a little better, that weigh a few ounces 
more, lo and behold ! in the other one s nater and 
soul are a few ounces of different goodness that even 
it up, that weigh enough more to make it even. 

" If Justice takes my advice and I spoze mebby 
she will, knowin I am a female that always wished 
her well, even in her blind days if Justice takes my 
advice she won t put on her bandages agin, she will 
look out calm and keen and try to weigh things 
right by the notch, try to hold her steelyards stiddy. 

"And no matter what is put into em men, wim 
men, colored folks or white ones get the right 
weight to em, the hull caboodle of em, black or 
white, rich or poor, bond or free. 

" She will get along as well agin, and take more 
comfort herself. 

" It must have been a tejus job for her to be a 
standin up there a weighin things as blind as a 

But sez I, as I kinder come to myself, and glanced 
up at the little clock over the bureau : 

" I am a eppisodin , a eppisodin* out loud, and to 


a greater extent than I ort to, and it is bedtime," 
sez I. 

Genieve looked sort o bewildered and strange, 
and said " she had enjoyed my talk," and I dare pre 
sume to say she had, for she hain t one to lie. 

But it wuz bedtime, and I went to my own peace 
ful room. My beloved pardner wuz fast asleep and 
a dreamin most likely about the farm and Ury ; and 
if he dreamed some about Philury, I didn t care, I 
hain t one of the jealous kind. And I knew his 
dreams would be perfectly moral and well-behaved 
ones anyway. 




BOUT five months after Rosy s mar- 
riage her old grandmother s " mis 
ery" become greater than she could 
endure, or ruther a sudden cold 
which she took proved fatal to her, 
and she took to her bed, and after a 
week s illness passed away. 

She wuz stayin with Rosy when she wuz took 
sick, and Maggie and I did everything we could do 
to relieve her wants and help her ; but I see the first 
time I put my eyes on her face after her seizure that 
we could not help her it wuz pneumonia ; it carried 
her off after a few days of sufferin . 

The night before her death I went down to her 
cabin with a basket of jelly and broth and fruit, but 
she wuz beyend takin any nourishment. 

She wuz propped up on pillows, her black face in 
marked contrast to the snowy linen that Maggie 
had furnished for her bed. 


Genie /e, patient nurse, wuz settin by her, her 
beautiful face wearin its usual look of triumphant 
sorrow, joyful ignominy, or I don t know as 1 can 
describe the look in words, but, anyway, she had the 
look she always had, different from anybody else s, 
more sorrowful, more riz up, more inspired. 

The Book of books wuz in her hand ; she had 
been readin to her till she had fallen asleep. 

At last Aunt Clo opened her eyes and looked up 
long and thoughtfully into the beautiful and pityin 
face bent above her, and finally she said to Genieve : 

" Honey, did you come down out n de Beloved 
City dat you read me about ?" 

" Oh, no, Aunt Clo. Don t you know me? I am 
Genieve, your old friend Genieve." 

" I done thought I see a light round your fore 
head, honey. It seems like I did see de light ; sure 
you hain t one of dem angels ?" 

" Oh, no, Aunt Clo ; you know me, don t you?" 

And Genieve lifted her head and gave her a 
spoonful of the hot broth I had brought. 

She sunk back on the pillow, and after a minute 
said, with the old persistency that Aunt Dinah wuz 
wont to cling to any idee she had formed : 

" It jess seems as if I did see de light a shinin 
down out of your eyes, honey, into my ole heart." 

A more peaceful look settled down upon the face 
that had been drawn and seamed with " the misery." 
And when she fell into her last sleep the same ex- 
pression remained. 

And I wondered if indeed Genieve s sweet soul 
did not by some magnetism of attraction draw down 
a band of bright spirits whose heavenly looks wuz 




reflected upon her own, and if indeed a glow from 
the heavens she tried to picture to the old black 
woman might not be reflected dimly into her poor 
old heart. 

But we see through a glass darkly ; we may not 
see clearly into the beauties and wonders of the 
Beloved City. 


Genieve stayed and rendered all the assistance she 
could. She stayed as long as she wuz needed. 

But as soon as the news got out that Aunt Clo 
wuz dead, a crowd of her relations, near and distant, 
come in and took possession of the cottage and 
begun preparations for an elaborate funeral. 

A colored minister wuz sent for, and he preached 
a long sermon in which her virtues wuz held up as a 
pattern, and her sudden death as a warnin for em 
all to be ready for " de Master s call, which might 
come in de night time, or in de heat and burden of 
de day, but wuz shuah to come. Shuah, young, 
careless girl ; shuah, gay, happefyin young man, 
for de trumpet must sound, and de dead must go at 
de bugle call of de Reapeh. 

" He reaps de flowehs of de gahden," sez he, 
pintin to the grave of Belle Fanchon, which wuz 
not fur from the cabin-door. 

" He reaps de flowehs in all deir beauty, an de 
ripe grain an de wheat. Dis wheat we lay in de 
grave to-day, knowin dat de incorruption will rise 
up incorruptible, an de glory will come up glorious, 
an we shall all see it in de twinklin of de eye an 
wherefoah, bredren, let us pray." 

And he knelt down and offered up a prayer full of 
faith, and pathos, and the wise ignorance of his 
childlike race. 

Rising up from his knees, he directed the mourn 
ers to pass in front of the coffin and view the re 
mains, which they did with loud groanings and many 
tears and exclamations of grief. 

Then the coffin wuz closed, and the minister stood 
up in front of it and sez : 


" Christians, fall into line." 

And the church-members silently fell into line two 
by two till they wuz all in their places. 

Then he sez, " Sinners, fall into line." 

And the irreligious came forward jest as calmly 
and took their places, and the procession moved off, 
and Aunt Clo wuz carried away to her last sleep, in 
a little colored graveyard some mile and a half 

I told Josiah about it after I got home ; I sez : 
* The good and the bad always foller on after 
every departed friend ; but I never see em sorted 
out so careful before, and I never see such a calm 
willingness to be put amongst the goats as I see 

"Wall," sez he, "they knew they wuz goats, so 
what wuz the use of kickin ?" 

" Wall," sez I, " I have seen white folks lots of 
times that must have known they wuz goats, but 
they didn t love to be sorted out on the left side, 
and no money could have made em walk up and fall 
into a sinner s line." 

Sez he, " If they be sinners, why can t they own 
up to it ? I would if I wuz a sinner." 

But I felt that it wuz ofttimes hard work to tell 
the difference ; and I sez : 

" I am glad it hain t me that has to do the sepa- 
ratin between the good and the bad, for I shouldn t 
know where to lay holt, appearances are so deceit 
ful sometimes. Sheepskins are wore often over 
goats, and anon a sheep puts on the skin and horns of 
a goat to face the world in and fight with it. I 
shouldn t know where to be^in or leggo." 


"Wall, that is because you are a woman," sez 
Josiah. Wimmen never know where or how to lay 
holt of any hard work or head work. I could do it 
in a minute, and any man could that wuz used to 
horned cattle." 

I sithed and thought to myself the thought I had 
entertained more or less ever sence I stood up with 
Josiah Allen at the altar. How different, how differ 
ent my pardner and I looked on some things, and 
how impossible it wuz seemingly for us to ever get 
the same view on em. 

But I didn t multiply any more words with him, 
knowin it wouldn t be of any use ; and then agin, as 
I looked clost at him, I see a shade of serious pensive- 
ness, and even sadness, as it were, a shadin down 
onto his eyebrow. 

And my talk didn t seem to lighten it any as I 
went on and told him that they said that this cus 
tom of dividin , as it were, the sheep and the goats 
wuz practised a good deal in different parts of the 

But I still see the shadowy shade on his foretop, 
and went on more cheerful, and told him that the lit 
tle boy Abe wuz goin to be took into the family of 
the good colored preacher, so he wuz sure of a good 
home and good treatment. 

But in vain wuz all my cheerful perambulations of 
conversation. I see that he looked demute, and 
broodin over some idee ; and finally he spoke out : 

" Samantha, goin to funerals, or hearin about 
em, puts folks to thinkin ." 

Yes, it duz, Josiah ;" and sez I, in quite a solemn 
axent, " it stands us all in hand to be prepared." 


Sez he, " I wuzn t thinkin of that side of the 
subject, Samantha ; but it brings back to me that 
old thought and fear that has been growin on me 
for years more or less. Samantha," sez he, " I 
worry, and have worried for years, for fear that you 
will some time be left a relict with nuthin to lean on." 

I glanced up at him, and the thought come to me 
instinctively that it would be the ondoin of us both 
if I should try to lean heavy on him now, for my 
weight is great, and he is small-boneded, and I knew 
that he would crumple right down under the weight 
of 200 pounds heft. 

But I didn t speak my thoughts oh, no ; I merely 
looked at him real affectionate, and I took up a sock 
I wuz mendin for him (we wuz in our own room), 
and I attackted it as socks should be attackted if you 
lay out to make em good and sound. And he went 
on still more confidential and confidin , and told me 
several things he thought I had ort to do if I wuz 
ever left a relict of him. 

It wuz real touchin , and I wuz considerable affect 
ed by it not to tears no ; I thought I wouldn t 
shed any tears if I could help it, for darnin is close 
work, and it calls for all the eyesight you have 
got ; and then I had on a new gray lawn dress that I 
felt would spot easy ; so I restrained my emotions 
with a almost marble composure, and anon I sez to 
him as he wuz a goin on in that affectin way, and 
sez I : 

: I may be took first, Josiah Allen." 

And he admitted that that might be the case, 
though he couldn t bear to think on t, he said, it gin 
him such awful feelin s. 


He said he had never been able to think on t with 
any composure. But after a while he talked more 
diffuse on the subject, and owned up that he had 
thought on t ; and sez he, in a still more confidin 
and affectionate way : 

" For years, Samantha, I have had it in my head 
what I would put on your tombstun if I should live 
to stand up under the hard, hard blow of havin to 
rare one up over you. 

" I have thought I should have it read as follers, 
and to wit, namely : 

" Here lies Samantha, wife of Deacon Josiah 
Allen, Esquire, of Jonesville. Deacon in the Meth 
odist Church, salesman in the Jonesville cheese fac 
tory, and a man beloved and respected by every one 
who knows him but to love him, and names him but 
to praise. 

" Its endin .in poetry, Samantha, wuz jest what I 
knew wuz touchin , dumb touchin , and would be 
apt to please you ; and it is always a man s aim to 
write the obituarys of his former deceased pardner 
in a way that would suit her and be pleasin to her." 

Sez I calmly, " Yes, I should know a man wrote 
that if I read it in the darkest night that ever rolled, 
and I wuz blindfolded." 

" Wall," sez he anxiously, "don t it suit you? 
Don t you think it is uneek, sunthin new and 
strikin ?" 

" Oh, no," sez I, " no, it hain t nuthin new at 
all ; but mebby it is strikin or that is," sez I, "it 
depends on who is struck." 

" Wall," sez he, " it is dumb discouragin , after a 
man racks his brains to try to get up sunthin strong 


and beautiful, to think a woman can t be tickled and 
animated with it." 

Sez I calmly, " I hain t said that I wuzn t suited 
with it." And sez I with still more severe axents, 
for I see he looked disappointed, I will say 
further, Josiah, that it meets my expectations fully ; 
it is jest what I should expect a male pardner to 

" Wall," sez he, lookin pleaseder and more sat- 
isfieder, " I thought you would appreciate it after 
you thought it over for a spell." 

" I do, Josiah," sez I, turnin over the sock I wuz 
a mendin and attacktin a new weak spot in the 
heel, " I do appreciate it fully." 

Josiah looked real tickled and sort o* proud, and 
I kep on in calm axents and a darnin too, *or the 
hole wuz big, and night wuz a descendin down onto 
us. And I could hear Aunt Mela s preparations for 
supper down below, and I wanted to get the sock 
done before I went down-stairs. So I sez, sez I : 

" I have thought about it sometimes too, Josiah, 
and I have got it kinder fixed out in my mind what I 
would have on your tombstun if I lived through it," 
sez I with a deep sithe. 

What wuz it ?" sez he in a contented tone, 
for he knows I love him. "It is poetry, hain t 

Yes," sez I calmly, " I laid out to end it with a 
verse of poetry ; it wuz to run as Toilers : l Here lies 
Josiah Allen, husband of Samantha Allen, and " 

" Hold on !" sez Josiah, gettin right up and look- 
in threatenin . " Hold on right there where you 
be ; no such words as them is a goin on my tomb- 


stun while I have a breath left in my body. Hus 
band of Josiah, husband of I won t have no 
such truck as that, and I can tell you that I won t." 

" Be calm, Josiah," sez I, "be calm and set 
down," for he looked so bad and voyalent that I 
feared apperplexy or some other fit. Sez I, "Be 
calm, or you will bring sunthin onto yourself." 

11 I won t be calm, and I don t care what I bring 
on, and I tell you I ruther bring it on than not, a 
good deal ruther. The idee ! Josiah Allen, husband 
of It has got to a great pass if a man has got 
down to that to be a husband of " 

" Why," sez I, lookin up into his face stiddily, as 
he stood over me in a wild and threatenin attitude 
and some wimmen would have been skairt and 
showed it out ; but I wuzn t. Good land ! don t I 
know Josiah Allen, and through him the hull race 
of mankind ? I knew he wouldn t hurt a hair of my 
foretop, but he would like to skair me out of the 
idee, that I knew. 

But sez I in a reasonable axent, " You had got it 
all fixed out Samantha, wife of Josiah " 

" Wall, that is the way !" sez he, hollerin enough 
almost to crack my ear-pan " that is the way every 
man has it on his pardner s headstun. Go through 
the hull land and see if it hain t ; you can look on 
every stun." 

Oh, how that " stun" rolled through my head ! 
And sez I, " I am not deef, Josiah Allen, neither am 
I in Shackville, or Loontown, or the barn. Do you 
want to raise a panick in your son s household ? 
Moderate your voice or you will harm your own 
insides. I know it is the way every man has wrote 



it about their pardners, and it seemed so popular 
amongst men I thought I would try it." 

Wall, you won t try it on me !" he hollered as 
loud as ever. " You won t try it on me, and don t 
you undertake it. Why, ruther than to have them 
words rared up over me I would I would ruther 
not die at all. Josiah Allen, husband of No, mom, 
you don t come no such game over me ; you don t 
demean me down into a husband of !" 

Why," sez I, lookin calmly into his face (for I 
see I must be calm), " don t you know how I have 
wrote my name for years and years, Josiah Allen s 
Wife ?" 

Wall, that wuz the way to write it ; it wuz styl 
ish," he yelled. Oh, how he yelled ! Why, that 
" stylish" almost broke a hole through my ear-pan ; 
the pan jest jarred, it wuz so voyalent. 

Sez I, " Set down, Josiah, and less argue on it." 

" I won t argue on it, it is too dumb foolish ; I am 
goin out to walk in the back garden before supper." 

And he ketched down his hat and drawed it down 
over his ears enough to break em off if they hadn t 
been well sot on, and slammed the door so one of 
them panels is weak to this day it wuz a little loose 
to start with. 

And I went and stood in the winder with my hand 
over my eyes, and watched him all the while he 
wuz a walkin up and down them walks, for I wuz 
most afraid he would totter and fall over, or mebby 
he would start off a bee-line for the crick and 
drown himself, he wuz so rousted up and agitated. 
And I hain t dasted to open my head sence on 
the subject I don t dast to, not knowin what it 


would bring onto him. At the table they noticed 
my pardner s excited and riz up mean they couldn t 
help it. 

And Maggie asked him " if he wuzn t feelin well." 

And I spoke right up, such is a female s devoted 
love for her companion T spoke right up and sez : 

" We have been a talkin over funerals and such, 
and your Pa got agitated." 

I spoze I told the truth I spoze I did ; I didn t 
tell what the " such" wuz that he had been a talkin 
about ; I don t know as 1 wuz obleeged to. 



T wuz dretful sudden, as we count sudden 
ness. But then we don t know down here 
in this dark Earth Valley, with high moun 
tains a towerin up on each side on us that 
we can t see through we can t really tell 
what to call the onexpected, or the expected. 

I spoze if we wuz high enough up to see the light 
and beauty of the Divine Plan, we shouldn t call any 
thing the onexpected. 

But it seemed dretful sudden to us that Miss Sey- 
bert should be took down voyalent with a fever that 
wuz a prevailin round Eden Centre, and should die 
off the second day after the attack. 

And for all the world it would seem as if havin 
waited on her through all time, and she laid out to 
go on a doin it through all eternity, old Phyllis, 
Victor s mother, jest follered right on after her the 
next day. 

Some say she took the disease a hangin over her 
bed and a waitin on her. , 


But anyway, she passed away the very next day, 
and wuz buried right at the feet of her beloved 
"Miss Alice." 

Col. Seybert wuz away on one of his annual wild 
cat excursions, so her wishes wuz carried out. And 
she had her old friend nigh her through the long 
sleep, jest as she always had had her durin her fitful 
sleep for years. But they both slept well now, and 
wuzn t no more to be disturbed by drunken abuse 
nor mournful forebodings. No, they slept sound 
and sweet. 

Victor mourned deep, deep for em both it would 
be hard to tell which he mourned for most. 

But after the first shock of his heart-felt grief had 
passed away, he felt that the last ties had been broke 
now that bound him to this land. 

He felt that God had showed him more plain by 
this dispensation what He wanted him to do. 

And as everything wuz ripe for the exodus, and 
he felt that he could not remain an hour under Col. 
Seybert s roof, now that the necessity for his remain- 
in had been removed, everything pointed to an imme 
diate departure for Africa. 

The party who wuz to go with him wuz all ready, 
eager, resolute, prepared, only waitin for the word 
of their leader. 

And he wuz ready to go. But first he must be 
married to the light of his eyes, the desire of his 
heart. And under the circumstances of the case 
we could not counsel any great delay. 

And though, as I said, Victor wuz a mourner, and 
a deep mourner for his mother and sister mistress, 
still it wuz mebby partly for that reason that he wuz 


so happy in the thought of havin a sweet wife and a 
sweet home of his own. 

And it wuz a pretty sight to witness the love of 
Victor and Genieve. And though we all hated to 
lose her, we wuz happy in the thought of her happi 
ness and her approachin marriage. 

As for me, though mebby I didn t say so much, I 
did the more. I wuz a knittin some of the very finest 
linen edgin* out of number ninety thread to trim a 
hull suit of underclothes for her. And if any one 
would examine close the fineness of the thread, they 
could see the delicacy and tenderness of my feelin s 
for her, and the strength. 

I had bought some of the very finest muslin I 
could get to make the garments of. So, as I say, if 
I didn t say so much, mebby I did the more, and 

Maggie and Thomas J. wuz goin to get her a 
bedroom set in pretty light wood, and Maggie wuz 
embroiderin some beautiful covers for the bureau, 
and washstand, and table. 

It wuz a pattern of pink and pale blue mornin* 
glories on a sort of a cream -colored ground. 

They wuz goin to be lovely. 

Little Snow wanted to do sunthin , and I told her 
she should. 

So I, myself, cut her out some little linen napkins, 
and let her fringe out the edges, and I laid out to 
orniment em myself for her in cat stitch. Cat is a 
very handsome stitch. 

And as I sez, we wuz all happy in witnessin 
Genieve s happiness, which wuz glowin and radiant, 
and Victor s calm, deep bliss. For he could not undo 


the past. And the Bible sez a man shall leave all and 
cleave to his wife. And he wuz only a followin the 

He had been a good son, no better could be found 
a good, faithful helper and friend to his mistress ; 
and I felt that he could leave em in their peaceful 
graves and walk off into the Eden road of his happy 
love with no reflections, and with the desire of his 

Col. Seybert wuz ragin , as we knew, at the 
thoaght that his trusty servant wuz goin to leave 
him. He wuz invaluable to him in so many ways. 
He had no other man in his employ so trustworthy ; 
no one else who would take care of his business 
durin the frequent intervals when he wuz incapable 
of it ; no one else who wuz so honest, so reliable, so 
intelligent ; for Victor wuz one who would do his 
duty, and do a good day s work, if he wuz workin 
for Nero or the Old Harry himself, though you 
wouldn t ketch him a workin for this last-named 
personage no, indeed. 

Col. Seybert raged over the idee of Victor s leav- 
in him ; he had always ruled everything about him, 
bent everything to his wishes. 

And now " this black dog," as he named Victor 
in his scornful wrath, had dared to defy him. And 
worse still, the very best and most intelligent of his 
hands, nearly all the younger ones, had been influ 
enced by Victor s purpose and teachin s, and wuz 
makin preparations to leave this sin-cursed South, 
that had held only misery and humiliation for them, 
and join him in his colony in Africa. 

Col. Seybert knew, through his spy Burley, that 



they wuz secretly and quietly makin preparations 
to leave him and go to the New Republic some of 
them to go with Victor and his party, some of them 
to go with the next party fitted out. 


Deep in his heart and loudly to his chosen friends 
did Col. Seybert curse Victor his long-sufferin* 
brother, as I would and did call him in my mind I 

Why, good land ! if Victor had been translated 
to the court of some mighty kingdom and been pro 
claimed king, wouldn t Col. Seybert have claimed 
relationship with him pretty quick ? 

Yes, cupidity and ambition would have propped 
him up on both sides, and he would have proclaimed 


the fact through his brother s kingdom that he wuz 
brother to the king. 

Wall, if he wuz his brother under one set of cir 
cumstances, I say he wuz under any other. 

He wuz his half-brother ; if every other evidence 
had failed to assure the relationship, the portrait of 
old Gen. Seybert down in the long drawin room 
of Seybert Court would have proclaimed the fact to 
a gainsaying world. He wuz a fur truer son to Gen. 
Seybert than Reginald wuz. For by all the ties of 
congenial tastes, mind, and spirit, he wuz the court 
ly old Southerner s true son and heir. 

Reginald had always been and always would be 
true son and heir of Hiram Wiggins, the manufac- 
turin tailor. Although as relationships go in this 
world, he wuz only his grandnephew. 

But he had laid claim, and wuz the only possessor 
of all his crafty, cruel, brutal, aggressive nature, his 
low habits and tastes, his insolent, half bold, half 
meachin manners. 

Hiram Wiggins es own children wuz two old 
maid daughters, so meek they could hardly say their 
souls wuz their own. 

They worked samplers, copied from their moth 
ers, and regulated their behavior on this model, 
which wuz a eminently Christian one, and did much 
good in a modest, unassumin way with the wealth 
their father had heaped up. They wuz the children 
of their mother, and their cousin Reginald, true son 
of their father. 

But I am a eppisodin , and to resoom. 

Col. Seybert, like all men of his class, had some 
choice spirits that copied his manners and carried 


out his plans. And among them all who toadied to 
him and carried out his base plans, the foremost one 
wuz Nick Burley, as we have said prior and before 

He hated Victor as much as Col. Seybert did. 
One of the causes of Burley s dislike was what feeds 
enmity so often in base natures Victor wuz so 
superior to him that Burley wuz always oncomfort- 
able in his presence. 

To be with a young man who neither drank, 
swore, nor tore the characters of women to tatters, 
and boasted of great deeds in love and valor, wuz to 
Burley incomprehensible. What wuz mysterious 
must be wrong. 

And then Victor evidently shunned the society of 
Burley, and avoided him whenever he could. And 
as Burley wuz a white man and Victor " a damned 
nigger," such a state of things wuz not to be borne. 

Col. Seybert had, we may be sure, fanned the 
coals of hatred to a still greater heat, till at last they 
wuz at a white glow, and Nick Burley wuz ready 
to do any act that Col. Seybert recommended, any. 
thing for vengeance and " to show that cussed black 
dog not to feel above a gentleman and a white 

And Col. Seybert and Burley had subtly played 
upon the ignorance and superstition of the lower 
black element about them, so they had come to look 
upon Victor as their enemy and the enemy of his 

He who had all his life long sought only the good 
of his race, planned through long, wakeful nights 
for their advancement, and had labored early and 


late for an education, mainly for the reason that he 
could help them better so ignorant wuz they that 
they could see nothin of this, and looked at him 
through the hate-prejudiced eyes of his enemies. 

His preachin to his people to be patient under 
their wrongs and to return good for evil ; his warn 
ings to them aginst their habits of lawlessness, and 
laziness, and theft ; his pleadings with them to turn 
in their evil ways and try to become decent citi 
zens ; his admonitions that their future lay in their 
own hands, and they could become, by the grace of 
God and by hard work and education, whatever 
they chose to be, had been mistaken by these more 
ignorant ones. And subtly wrought upon by Col. 
Seybert and Burley, they looked upon Victor as one 
who, while he taught them lessons of patience, and 
meekness, and unselfishness, wuz himself carryin on 
a secret plan for their humiliation and his own per 
sonal wealth and ambition. 

Victor knew something of this secret antagonism 
towards him from the lower black element and his 
revengeful white enemies, but he hardly knew how 
strong it wuz. 

And so the mills of the gods wuz turnin slowly 
but surely, and slavery, and oppression, and class 
hatred, and personal spite, and bitterness, and 
social contempt, and ignorance wuz gettin ready to 
be ground out into the food whereby Vengeance 
and Horror should be sated. 

Very quickly but very surely wuz the prepara 
tions goin on for Victor s departure for the colony. 

Nearly all of them who wuz goin with him had 
been able to get a little money ahead. 


On an average, they had about five hundred dol 
lars each. 

Some had more than this, and wuz takin out 
wife, or children, or parents, who had less ; so that 
the actual amount each member of the colony would 
have would be about five hundred dollars. 

Victor had planned that, with careful and prudent 
management in that warm climate, where no extra 
amount wuz needed for fuel or heavy clothin , where 
food of a certain kind could be obtained almost by 
pickin it off the trees about them, where a very sim 
ple and cheap cabin would be all the shelter and 
protection they might need 

He thought that this money, in the hands of intel 
ligent and prudent managers, would keep the 
colony fed and clothed, buy necessary tools and 
stock, and keep them in comfort till they could 
raise crops in their own home. 

Father Gasperin, the good missionary who had 
labored all his life amongst the black people, wuz 
goin with them, and he, havin the love and confi 
dence of them all, Victor had made chief adviser and 
treasurer of the company. 

Father Gasperin had a good deal of influence with 
them high in authority (he had renounced a high 
name and estate to dwell amongst and labor for the 
poor and lowly). He had made all the necessary 
arrangements with parties in Africa, and the site of 
the location wuz already chosen. 

When Cousin John Henry decided to cast in his 
lot with the colonists, Victor wuz overjoyed, for he 
felt that the good he would accomplish could hardly 



be estimated in teaching and preachin , and helpin* 
the colony in every way. 

Their future home wuz a beautiful valley lyin 
between two low, heavily wooded mountain ranges, 
and a clear river runnin through it to the sea. 

A sheltered, lovely spot, but with pure air flowin 
in from the east and the west along the course of 
the sparklin river. 

This river they looked to as bein for the present 


their highway out to the nearest town, some twenty 
miles away. 

And already in his mind Victor saw the white 
sails of their boats bearin away the fruit of their 
hands to be exchanged for articles of necessity and 

He could see the little wharf where these boats 
should come back laden with comforts for his peo 
ple and news from the great world. 

He imagined Genieve and himself standin at the 
door of the^- t; iy cottage, in the golden sunset or 


the golden dawn, lookin down this sparklin high 
way fringed with glistenin palm-trees. 

He could almost hear the song of the gayly hued 
birds as they called out to their mates in the glossy 
foliage overhead. 

Here wuz home, here wuz peace, here wuz inde 
pendence for a long-enslaved and tortured people. 

Hard work he knew there must be, and perhaps 
hard fare for a time ; but the reward would be so 
sweet that it would sweeten toil. It would not be 
like the hopeless, bnthanked-for, onrewarded drudg 
ery for them who returned insults and curses for 
patient labor, and too often blows and stingin lashes. 

Felix and Hester wuz makin all preparations to 
go with Victor. On him Victor counted as one who 
could be relied upon to help the weaker ones, to be 
a guide and an example of what the black man 
could do and be. 

For Felix, so far as he knew, had not a drop of 
white blood in his veins, and he wuz faithful, hon 
est, hard-workin and intelligent. 

Three times he had had his home broken up and 
his earnings stolen from him by this cursed, unslain 
spirit of slavery. 

But he had agin, by his industry and frugality 
and by Hester s help, earned and laid by the sum 
Victor thought necessary for each colonist to pos 
sess, and he and Hester wuz ready to make another 
start in the New Republic. 

He had decided not to build another home in the 
soil guarded by the American eagle. 

He knew the fowl to be largely boasted about as 
bein the first and noblest bird beneath the skies. 


But he felt that he had been pecked by its too sharp 
bill, he had been clawed by its talons, he had been 
wearied by its loud, boastin , resonant voice. 

No, he would make no more homes under the 
skies where that eagle built its nest. 

He wuz ready for a newer republic. 

He felt that he would ruther dare the soft em 
braces of the biggest African serpents than be en 
folded about by our beneficent civilization. 

He wuz embittered, that wuz a fact. But when 
we see what he had gone through, I don t know as 
anybody could blame him. 

But anyway, he wuz ready to go. 

And so the days rolled by one after another, as 
they always will, whether you are gay or sorrowful, 
whether the hours seem weighted down with lead 
or tipped with fleet sunbeams. 

And to Genieve and Victor all sadness and shad 
ows lay fur away like a faint cloud in the horizon, 
almost unseen and forgotten in the clear sunshine 
of their happiness. For true love will make happi 
ness everywhere. Everything looked prosperous, 
and I had got my edgin done, and Maggie arid I 
had made the nice linen garments and ornimented 
em with the lace. 

They looked beautiful. 

Little Snow s work on the napkins wuz done, and 
the cat stitch almost completed a few stitches only 
of the cat remained to do, then they would be 

Maggie had completed her pretty embroidered 
covers, and they lay folded up on top of a pretty 
sashay -bag of sweet perfumery in the bureau-draws oi 


the handsome chamber set, and that wuz all packed 
away in a strong box ready for the voyage. 

The weddin dress had come home all fini hed, 
even to the pretty lace in the neck and sleeves. 

It wuz white mull, and I knew Genieve would 
look like a picture in it. 



T last the time come, as every time 
will come if you wait long enough 
for it the time had corae when 
the colony wuz to embark for their 
new home. 

Victor and Genieve wuz to be 
married the mornin they started, Cousin John Rich 
ard a performin the ceremony in the parlor at Belle 
Fanchon, and Father Gasperin a layin out to make 
a good prayer on the occasion. 

And the evenin* before everything wuz ready. 
In Genieve s room, acrost the white bed lay the 
simple grey travellin dress and wrap she wuz a goin 
to wear on her journey, with a little grey velvet tur 
ban by the side of it, and the heavy travellin cloak 
she would most probable need on her long sea voy 

The little grey gloves and the handkerchief and 


the well-filled travellin bag lay all ready to take up 
at a minute s notice, for we knew there wouldn t be 
any too much time in the mornin . 

The pretty plain white dress she wuz a goin to 
wear to enter her new life in, and which would be a 
good dress for years, and handy where she wuz a 
goin , lay acrost two chairs, ready for her to put on 
the first thing in the mornin . 

Yes, everything wuz ready in Genieve s room. 
And in the kitchen, though I am fur, fur from bein 
the one to speak on t (as I had done the most of the 
cookin ), wuz as good vittles as I ever see in my 
hull life. 

Aunt Mela done well and done considerable ; but 
1 wanted Victor and Genieve and Cousin John Rich 
ard to have some of my own particular Jonesville 
cookin , and everything had turned out jest right. 

Every cake had riz up in good form, ready for the 
icing ; not one lop-sided or heavy cake wuz there in 
the hull collection. 

And the roast fowls wuz jest the right brown, not 
a speck of scorch on one of em. 

The jellys wuz firm and clear as so many moulds 
of rose and amber ice. And the posys had all been 
picked, and Maggie had arranged em in great crys 
tal bowls and vases of sweetness and beauty. 

The table wuz all sot. We thought we would 
arrange it the night before, when we had plenty of 
time, so it would suit us. 

And we had got everything ready, and though I 
dare presume to say 1 ortn t to say it, it looked 
good enough to eat, vittles, table-cloth, posys, and 


(Though it is fur from me to propose eatin stun 
china and table-cloths ; but I use this simely to let 
3 r ou know the exceedin* loveliness of the spectacle.) 

Genieve went in to see it after it wuz all ready. 
We wouldn t let her do much, knowin what a jour 
ney wuz ahead on her. 

But when she went in to look at it she looked as 
if she wuz in a dream, a happy dream. And she 
wuz pleased with every single thing we had done 
for her. Snow, the dear little lamb, follered Genieve 
round tight to her all the time ; she knew she wuz a 
goin* away from us, and she couldn t bear the 
thought ; but we had tried to reason with her and 
tell her how happy Genieve wuz a goin to be, and 
she, havin such a deep mind, seemed to be middlin 

Boy wuz of course too small to realize anything. 
And it wuz on Genieve s heart that the tug of part- 
in with him come hardest. She wanted him in her 
arms all the time, a most. And as happy as she 
wuz, I see more than one tear drop down on his 
little short brown curls and dimpled cheeks and on 
Snow s golden locks. 

But I looked forward to the time when Genieve, 
sweet, tender heart, would hold a child of her own 
in her arms, and give it some of the love she lav 
ished on everything round her. 

Wall, as evenin drew on and the mockin birds 
begun singin to their mates down under the mag 
nolias, we see Victor s tall figure a comin along the 
well-known path, and Genieve went out to meet him 
for the last time as a maiden. 

The next time she went out to meet him it would 


be as his wife. And I spoze they both thought of 
that with a sort of a sad rapture, for they both loved 
Belle Fanchon and the folks that lived there. 

And they knew it would be on the soil of a strange 
land when she next sot out to meet him in the starry 
dusk of the evenin shadows. 

And the birds that would be a singin over their 
heads would not be the mockin birds of old Georgia. 
And different stars would be a shinin down on 
em, and it would be in a new world. 

I spoze they thought of all this, I spoze so, as 
they slowly wended their way up to the house in 
the soft glow of the semi-twilight amidst the odor 
and bloom of the blossomin flowers, and the melan 
choly, sweet notes of the mockin birds. 

They come into the settin room, and Victor sot 
down as usual and took Boy up in his arms he 
loved the child. 

Genieve went up into her room to tend to some 
last thing she wanted done, and we sot there in the 
settin room, and visited for a spell back and forth. 

Josiah and Cousin John Richard had walked down 
to the village, and Thomas Jefferson hadn t come 
home yet. 

Genieve found a letter from Hester a layin on 
her table, and she opened it and read it in the last 
faint rosy glow of the daylight. Hester and Felix 
wuz to meet them where they embarked. Hester s 
letter wuz full of joyful anticipation about the new 
home to which she wuz a goin . Poor thing ! bein* 
so tosted about and misused as she had been, it is 
no wonder. 

She and Felix wuz lookin forward with such de- 


light and happiness towards the new home that their 
fervor thrilled Genieve s heart anew, and she sot 
there after she had read the letter and looked off 
into the rosy light of the sunset, and she dreamed a 

It wuz a still twilight. The flowers about her 
window stood sweet and motionless against the 
glowin light. 

The last golden rays come through the vine- 
wreathed casement and fell on the letter lyin open 
in her lap, and as she sot there with her beautiful 
head leanin back against the old carved chair-back, 
the shinin rays seemed to move and get mixed with 
the shadows of the vine leaves. 

They moved, they shone, they took form, and as 
she sot there Genieve saw whether in the body or 
out of the body I cannot tell, God knoweth but she 
saw her future home in the New Republic. 

She saw a fair land lyin under a clearer, softer 
sky, but it bent down on strange foliage giant 
palm-trees cleaved the blue sky, and birds, like great 
crimson and golden blossoms, were flyin back and 
forth in and out of the green, shinin branches. 

Crystal rivers wuz flowin through that land, 
whose clear waves wuz dotted with the sails of a 
busy commerce. 

She looked on these heavily freighted ships and 
see that the commanders and officers, as well as 
crews, wuz her own dark-skinned race. 

By the side of these blue crystal highways for the 
Republic s wealth wuz flourishin towns in which 
stood great manufactories and workshops for all 
useful and valuab e purposes. She looked into these 


busy places, and she saw at the loom, and the forge, 
and the work-bench her own people, and also in the 
countin* rooms, and offices, and the superintendent s 
rooms all wore the dark livery of the sun. And 
she saw that none wuz very rich and none wuz 
poor, for the work wuz co-operative, and all wuz 
paid livin wages, and all ow r ned a share, even if a 
small one, in these large undertakings ; and she saw 
that none of the toilers looked haggard and over 
worked, for their hours of labor wuz short enough 
to give them all a chance for bodily rest and recrea 

She looked into the pulpits of the beautiful 
churches whose spires rose from the glitterin 
foliage, and wuz scattered over this new land. 

Colored men and colored wimmen stood in the 
pulpits and sot in the pews. 

Large, noble universities and a multitude of pub 
lic schools dotted the land of this New Republic ; 
colored men and colored wimmen wuz presidents, 
professors, teachers. The old lessons learned by 
their ancestors with many a heartache in the Old 
World wuz bearin its rich fruit in the new. 

She saw great museums, lecture rooms, art gal 
leries, all filled with the glowin imagery of the race 
that tried to orniment and wreathe the chains of 
servitude with some pitiful blossoms of crude 
beauty ; she beheld these gorgeous fancies trained 
into magnificent results. The walls wuz glowin 
with beauty and bold magnificence that the tamer, 
colder-blooded races never dreamed of. 

She entered the halls of song, free for all, rich or 
poor, and heard melodious sounds such as she had 



never dreamed of hearin this side of heaven. And 
the musicians wuz all of her own music-lovin race, 
and the melody almost seemed to have the secret of 
Paradise in it, so heavenly sweet it wuz. 

All through this favored land out in the rich coun 
try wuz immense co-operative farms stocked with 
sleek herds, and worked with new and wonderful 
machinery invented by her own people. 

And in the Capitol, in the chair of the ruler, sot one 
of her own race, wise and beneficent. And all the 
offices and chairs of State wuz filled by the colored 

Over all the land wuz prosperity, over all the land 
wuz peace, for there wuz no conflictin elements of 
diverse and alien races and interests mixed up in it ; 
and purified by past sufferings, grown wise by the 
direct teachings of God, the rulers ruled wisely, the 
people listened gladly, and the teachings of the 
Christ who more than two thousand years before 
come upon earth wuz fulfilled to His chosen people, 
whom He had brought up out of the depths to show 
His glory to the heathens. 

She saw for her vision wuz ontrammelled by 
time or space she saw the wise and kind influences 
of the Republic stretching out like the rays from a 
star into the darkest corners and deepest jungles of 
this great Eastern Hemisphere she saw the light 
slowly dawning in these depths. 

She saw missionaries ever goin into these places 
from this New Republic with the Bible in their hands 
and its sweet wisdom in their lives, and then ever 
goin back with some new recruits gathered from 
the lowest places, to be in time educated in all good 


things, and then sent back as missionaries to their 
own tribes. 

And the sunlight lay lovingly on this land like the 
love of God long hidden under the cloud of His 
judgments, but now seeming the sweeter from what 
had gone before. 

And from all these cozy homes in city and in coun 
try she heard the steady tread, tread of the children 
walkin along to the music of the future, the future 
of accomplishment, of education, of promise. She 
saw them forever learnin new things, the newer 
things that wuz forever displacin the old newer, 
grander, broader views and aims. For heaven and 
earth wuz drawin nearer to each other, and the era 
of peace on earth, good- will to man had come. 

Long did Genieve set there wrapped in the glory 
of what she saw whether in the body or out of the 
body I do not know. God knoweth. 

At last the voice of little Snow aroused her, and 
she took her up in her arms. 

But the light remained in her face. 

Little Snow come into our room in a few minutes, 
and she sez, " Genny took me up in her lap, and hei 
face shined." 

And I sez, " Like enough, darlin . She is one of 
the Lord s anointed, anyway." 

And Josiah sez he had come back, and wuz a lay- 
in on the lounge " Probable the sun wuz a shinin 
into her face." 

And Snow sez, " The sun had gone down ; it 
wasn t shinin into her room." 

" Wall," sez Josiah, " it wuz most probable th* 


11 She hadn t lighted one," sez Snow. 

" Wall, it wuz most probable sunthin ," sez 

And I sez, " I presume so." 

And I felt that it wuz. 

Wall, while this happy glow wuz still a shinin in 
Genieve s eyes, Victor wuz a settin down below. 
Genieve had gone across the garden to bid baby 
Tommy good-bye. 

When I went down agin Victor wuz a settin* by 
the open window of the settin room. 

It wuz a lovely night, as I could see plain, for the 
big windows wuz wide open and the moon shone 
bright in the east, while yet the rosy glow had not 
faded out of the western sky. 

I sot down with my knittin work, and as I sot 
there a peacefully seamin three and one on Josiah s 
sock, I see a little white bird come a flyin along 
from towards the clump of roses and magnolias that 
riz up over little Belle Fanchon s grave. 

It flew along most to the window, and settled 
down on a wavin rose branch, and there it swung 
back and forth and sung a sweet sort of a invitin 
song. And into its liquid notes seemed to be blent 
sunthin sad and sort o comfortin , and sunthin 
high, and inspiring and glad. 

I thought I had seen and hearn most every kind 
of song bird sence I had been South ; but thinkses I 
to myself, I don t believe I ever see a bird that 
looked exactly like that, or heard a song that wuz 
quite so sweet, so sad. 

It sot there for all the world as if it wuz a waitin 
for sunthin . 


( didn t say nuthin , but I couldn t help watchin* 
it I felt queer. 

Bimeby Victor came up the steps and come in 
he had been down on the lawn for a flower for 
Genieve and bein startled by him, I spoze, the 
bird flew up a little ways onto a branch that hung 
over the porch, and kep on with that same plaintive, 
sweet song, and it had that same air as if it wuz a 
waitin , waitin for somebody or sunthin . 

But pretty soon Maggie come in, and Victor 
begun to tell us how all his preparations wuz com 
pleted, and about his plans, and his hopes, etc., and 
I got all took up with em, and then I had to set my 
heel or ruther Josiah s heel, and that takes up 
sights of mind and intellect to do it jest right. 

And jest as I got it set, in come Snow, the pre 
cious darlin , with her youngest dolly in her arms. 

She made me kiss it good-night. I didn t really 
want to, its face wuz pasty and bare in patches, 
but I clone it, and got two kisses from Snow s sweet 
little lips to take the taste out of my mouth. 

And as I had kissed the doll affectionate and ac- 
cordin to her wishes, she put up her little hand to 
my face in that sweet caress she always gin me 
when she wuz real satisfied and happy with what I 
had done, or when I felt bad about anything. 

And as I bent my head for that lovin and tender 
caress, oh, how joyful and clear that bird s song 
did sound through the twilight ; it rung out as if 
whatever it wuz waitin for had come nigh it, and 
its little lonesome heart wuz full of content and 

And after she left my side, Snow kissed her mam* 


ma and then went up to bid Victor good-night. She 
loved Victor, and he loved her dearly. And know- 
in it would be the last time he would ever have the 
chance agin most likely, he felt agitated and sorry, 
and took the dear little creeter up in his arms, dolly 
and all. 

As he did so I thought I heard the sound of steps 
in the garden, but I glanced out past Victor and 
couldn t hear anything more, only that plaintive bird 
song, low, and strange, and thrillin . 

And I kep on with my work. But agin we all 
thought we heard steps, and we listened for a min 
ute, but everything wuz still. But sunthin drawed 
my eyes to look up at little Snow, and even as I 
looked a ball come crashin through the window and 
went right through that baby s breast. 

Victor sprung to his feet and sez : 
1 That wuz meant for me !" 

And as he looked down OQ Snow he cried out : 

" My God ! has it killed the child ?" 

But he laid her down on the lounge right by him, 
and, bold as a lion, and as if to shield us all from fur 
ther harm, he sprang out on the piazza and from 
there to the ground, and faced the gang of masked 
men we could see surroundin him. 

But we couldn t foller him with any of our 
thoughts ; all of our hearts wuz centred on our lit 
tle lamb. 

She lay there white as death where Victor put her. 
She lay there still, with her big blue eyes lookin 
up up and what did they see ? Wuz the Form a 
bendin over her ? We thought so, from hci face 
such a look of content, and understandin , it ^i corr- 


prehension of sunthin that wuz beyend our poor 

For a minute she looked up with that rapt look on 
her face, and then she tried to lift her little white 
hand in that pretty gesture of greetin somebody we 
couldn t see. 

And then she slowly turned her look onto all of 
us, full of love love and pity ; and then she wuz 
gone from us ; we had only the beautiful little bod} 7 

We couldn t believe it ; we wuz stunned and 
almost killed with the suddenness of it, the terrible- 
ness, the onheard-of agony and pity of it. 

But it wuz so. When we had come to ourselves 
a little, and sent for the doctor, and worked over 
her, and wept over her till fur into the night, we 
had to believe it dear little Snow had gone. 

Victor, full of thought for Genieve, for us all, led 
the gang away under a clump of magnolias in a dis 
tant part of the grounds, nigh to the little tomb of 
Belle Fanchon. 

They faced him, their faces full of brutal anger, 
and low envy, and all bad passions. Led on by the 
cruel lies and influence of Col. Seybert, and their 
own low distrust and dislike of superiority in one of 
their own class, their own besotted ideas of their 
personal freedom 

They told Victor they would give him a chance 
for life. Let him give up his ideas of colonization, 
let him give up his plans of enrichin himself on the 
earnings of the poor, let him show he wuz one of his 
own people by goin back to his work again to Col. 
Seybert s they would give him this one chance. 



Victor turned his deep, pitiful eyes on the imbrut- 
ed forms before him, some black and some white, 
but all covered with the blackness of ignorance, and 
superstition, and causeless anger, and brutality 

And he sez to them, " My friends and brothers, I 
have only wanted to do you good. Heaven is my 
witness I have only sought out a better way for you. 
And I have been willing to spend my life and strength 
to help you. This country is no place for us." 

" It wuz good nuff for our faders and muders, 
and, fore Gawd, it is good nuff for us," shouted out 
some one in the crowd. 

" I have wanted to help you all to help myself 
to a better way of living. The evils we have about 
us are not of our own making nor of this generation 
they are old and heavy with sorro\v and iniquity. 
This land is burdened, and cries out under this load 
of woe, and perplexity, and sin. I have tried the 
old way we all have we have been burdened 
more than we could bear in the old paths. I have 
only sought to lead my people out into a safer, 
broader place, where we could be free from some of 
the worst evils that beset us here, and where there 
is a chance for us to have a home and a country of 
our own." 

" Curse you ! shet up your jaw !" sung out one 
burly ruffian, in the thick tones of semi-intoxication. 
For Col. Seybert had not failed to prime up their 
courage with bad whiskey. We have heard 
enough of your yawp ! Will you give up your 
plans or not ?" 

" Never !" said Victor. " I will never give up 
this hope, this work while I live." 


" Then you may die, curse you !" said one voice. 

And another voice rose up in venomous, brutaJ 
tones : 

" You have preached your damned sermons about 
patience, and forgiveness, and all that bosh, and you 
have been all the time a carryin on your under 
handed stealin , and featherin your own nest out of 
the hard-earned wages of the black men. And they 
say," went on this voice, which wuz evidently the 
voice of a white man, " they say that you are a 
goin to sell the hull crew you take over for slaves 
and line your own pockets with the blood-money of 
your brothers you traitor you !" 

Victor raised his arms mutely to the heavens as if 
to plead aginst the injustice of men. 

And as his clasped hands wuz raised, a bullet 
struck that noble heart, and he fell, breathin out 
that old prayer : 

" Lord, lay not this sin to their charge." 



HEN the moon had risen a 
little higher and its direct 
rays fell down through the 
glossy leaves onto that 
white, kingly face, another 
shadow fell on the green, blossomin sward, and a pale 
face looked through the branches, and Genieve stood 
there by the dead form of the man she worshipped. 
It wuz all over. She could do nothin wimmen 
seldom can in tragedys arisin from grave political 

But there is one thing she can do she is used to 
it she can suffer. Genieve could throw herself 
down upon the silent, cold body of her lover, while 
like a confused dream the whole past rushed through 
her mind. Her glowing hopes cut short, her life s 
happiness all slain by the enemies of truth. She 
could lie there and try to think of the years between 
her and death. How could she live them ? 

As she lies there prone in her helpless and hope 
less wretchedness, she is not a bad symbol of her race. 


Heart-broken, agonized through the ages, helpless 
to avenge her wrongs, too hopeless and heart-broken 
to attempt it if she could. 

Her life ruin brought about by the foolishness of 
preachin* what is wrong. 

The happiness or the wretchedness of one colored 
woman is of too little account to make it a factor in 
the settlement of grave political affairs. 

The tragedy in the magnolia shadows is nothin 
unusual ; such things must occur in such environ 
ment statesmen expect it. 

And after all, they may reason, it is only the 
takin off of one of the surplus inhabitants. Indeed, 
some contend that the speedy extinction of all newly 
made citizens, colored, and troublesome, either 
South or West, is the surest and safest solution of 
the vexed problem. 

And this is only one the less of an inferior race. 

And yet as he lays there, his wide-open eyes look 
up into the bending heaven as if demanding justice 
and pity from Him who left thrones and divine 
glory to dwell with the poor and despised, who 
wept with them over their dead, and who is now 
gone into the heavens to plead their cause aginst 
their oppressors. 

As he lays there his face is wet with tears of a very 
human anguish. 

Somehow this easy answer is not vvorkin* well in 
this case. 

And up in the mansion house grief wails for the 
eternal losses caused by this same blunder. 

There are the innocent sufferin for the guilty. 
The old puzzle unfoldin itself anew of the close 


links bindin human brotherhood. And how the 
rough breakin of one link is hazardous to all the 
golden rings of the chain that binds humanity to 

Poor Josiah Allen ! the doctrine he preached so 
long that if you let an evil alone it will do you no 
harm wuz all broke down and crushed to pieces. 
Poor old man ! mournin over the sweet bud that 
too ontimely perished in its first bloom. 

Poor man ! poor, broken-hearted old Grandpa 
with the silver voice that used to make a music of 
that name stilled forever. 

How can any pen, no matter how touched with 
flame from the altar, how can it picture that night ? 
Maggie layin like death, passin from one faintin 
fit into another. 

Thomas Jefferson, poor, poor boy, lookin up into 
my face with dumb pleadin for the comfort he 
could not find there. 

No, I couldn t comfort him at that time, for what 
wuz I a thinkin of, in the impatience of my agony, 
the onreasonableness of my bewildered, rebellious 
pain ? 

I said in them first hours, and I turned my face 
away from the light as I said it, " Darkness and de 
spair is over the hull world. Snow is dead !" 

And I thought to myself bitterly, what if the 
South duz rise up out of its dark dreams into a 
glorious awakenin , a peaceful, prosperous future 
what of it ? Our darlin , the light of our eyes, has 
gone forever. What can any sunshine do, no mat 
ter how bright, only to pour down vainly upon the 
sweet blue eyes that will never open again ? And 


fur in the East a grand republic may rise holdin in 
its newer life the completed knowledge of the older 
civilizations. But Snow is dead ! 

Yes, I sez to myself, as did another, " If they 
want a new song for their Africa free, let none look 
to me," I sez, " my old heart cannot raise to an 
thems of joy and glory." 

No ; my heart is bendin over a little cold form. 
Between the sun-bright glory of that new and free 
land stands a little tender form with a bleedin stain 
on its bosom. 

Or is it beckonin ? Was it the glow from them 
shinin curls that lightened the eastern sky ? Duz 
she speak in the pathos and beauty of our hearts 
desire for a race s freedom ? Dear little soul, so 
pitiful of all sufferin , duz she help them who loved 
her to be patient with ignorance, and intolerance, 
squalor, and power? Patient with all and every 
form of error and woe ? 

She lays under a flowery mound in the summer 
grounds of Belle Fanchon, close to the grave of the 
other little sleeper that slept so long there alone. 
The rivulet wraps its warm, lovin arms close about 
both little graves. 

Near by, just across the valley, reposes the form 
of Victor the king. Victor over ignorance, over 
wickedness, victor over his enemies, for he died 
blessin them. How else could he get the victory 
over his murderers ? 

Ah ! the flowers from these graves risin up to 
gether, will they not sweeten and purify the soil 
that nourishes them subtle perfume risin out of 


the black soil and darkness, sweet and priceless 
aroma risin to the heavens ? 

Upon the ancient altars the ripe fruit wuz laid, 
and the flowers. 

God knows best ! Oh, achin heart, where the 
silken head rested, and which will be empty and 
achin forevermore ; oh, streamin* eyes, tear-blind 
ed and anguished, that will never again see the 
sweetest form, the loveliest face that earth ever 
held, what can they say but this God knows best ! 

And they can think through the long days and 
nights of hopelessness and emptiness, that her sweet, 
prophetic eyes have found the Realities made visible 
to her onknown to the coarser minds about her. 

The Form that bent over her cradle and whis 
pered to her has taken her now to a close and guard- 
in embrace. 

Wuz it some fair, sweet messenger, some gentle 
angel guide, or wuz there in the hands held out to 
her the mark of the nails ? 

The glow that lit up her shinin hair from some 
radiant realm onbeknown to us wraps her round in 
its pure radiance. 

Little Snow has gone into the Beloved City ; but 
alas for the hearts that strive to follow her and can 
not ! 

But her sweet little body is a layin* close by the 
side of the little girl who went to sleep there thirty 
years ago. 

Over her is a small headstone bearin this inscrip 
tion : " Little Snow," and under it are the only 
words that can give any comfort when they are cut 


in the marble over a child s grave : " He carries the 
lambs in His bosom." 

And so as the years go on the leaves and blossoms 
will rustle in the soft mornin breeze over the two 
little girls sleepin in peace side by side in the old 

T wonder if they have found each other up in the 
other garden that our faith looks up to if they have 
made garlands of the sweet flowers that have no 
earthly taint on em and don t fade away, and 
crowned each other s pretty heads. I wonder if 
they ever lean over the battlements of Heaven and 
drop any of them sweet posies on the bare, hard 
pathways their friends that they left below have to 
walk in. 

Mebby so ; mebby, when in our hard, toilsome 
day marches, a hint of some strange brightness and 
glory touches our poor tired spirits, when some 
strange comfort and warmth seem to come sudden 
and sweet onto us, comin from we know not where 
mebby, who knows, but it is from the glowin* 
warmth and beauty of them sweet invisible flowers 
that we cannot see, but yet are a lyin in our path 
way, droppin on our poor tired heads and hearts. 

I don t know as it is so, and then, agin, I don t 
know as it hain t so. 



I HEN a long- flight of exiled birds stand 
ready to leave the South land for their 
old home again, whence they fled be 
fore the stormy blasts 

As they are drawn up in a line, high in the morn- 
m sky waitin for the leader s signal to raise their 
wings and strike out northward through the pathless 
fields of blue 

If some cruel shot strikes down that gallant lead 
er, the hull flock is bewildered and full of panic and 
distress for a time. 

But a new leader takes his place, and the solid 
phalanx rises up and takes wing for their old home, 
which is again to them the new. 

The flight goes on just the same, and perhaps no 
one but his mate feels the loneliness and emptiness 
of the clear blue sky. 

Though mebby, if she is so blessed, she may feel 
the waftin of shadow wings beside her, and a nearer 
presence than the livin . 

Felix took the place of leader in the enterprise, 
and though it wuz delayed for a little time, it went 
on to success. Though the great heart that planned 
it lay silent in deatn. 


Perhaps Genieve felt that his influence wuz still 
guidin her, that he wuz helpin the colony still ; 
that bowin down in the presence of the Crucified, 
he brought gifts of surer success to his people than he 
could if he wuz still with them in the mortal body. 

Felix wuz a favorite with the company, and though 
he had not Victor s genius nor the native gifts of 
prudence and foresight that he had possessed, his 
long apprenticeship to sorrow and peril had made 
him wise and patient. 

He wuz helped, too, greatly by the calm fortitude 
and Christian principle of Cousin John Richard and 
the fervid devotion of Father Gasperin. 

There wuz a rumor that the Government wuz 
bein importuned by one in high authority, and wuz 
only waitin to learn the success of this venture, to 
send Government vessels over with the freedmen, 
with help to maintain the poorer ones for a year and 
get them started in their new life. But it might 
have been only a rumor. As I said, Victor s death 
made a delay in the exodus, and it wuz durin those 
weeks of delay that Genieve received a large packet 
of law letters. 

Her father had died in France, and Genieve had 
been left his heiress. A goodly sum had been left 
to this lawyer if he wuz successful in findin his 
child. Perhaps by reason of this the search had 
proved successful. 

Genieve wuz a great heiress, for Monseur De 
Chasseny had no children by his French marriage 
his lawful wife wuz dead. And the memory of the 
great love of his life wuz with him to the last. In a 
will made on his death-bed, he left all his large for- 


tune to Genieve, " the child of the only woman he 
had ever loved." 

So said a letter left in the same package with the 

This wealth enabled her to do much for the 
colony, helpin them to good schools, good books, 
good food and clothin , and the teachin and the 
trainin that would make them self-supportin . 

Genieve studied harder than ever, worked harder 
than ever for the good of her people, after the livin 
Victor passed from her life. The immortal Victor, 
the saint, the hero Victor, always stood beside her. 
He would not let her sink into the gloom and inac 
tivity of hopeless sorrow. He nerved her to new 
activities. He held her hand that wrote stirrin ap 
peals, and helpful, encouragin words for the New 
Republic. He inspired the vision that saw it risin 
fair and proud from the ashes of a dead past. 

She studied history that she might help make a 
noble history for the new land ; she studied law, and 
literature, and music, all with this sole ambition of 
helpin her mother s race. 

The children of the colony almost idolized her, 
and in their love and constant companionship she 
found her greatest earthly comfort. 

She taught them all that she learned herself, 
taught them with the present love of all her lovin r 
heart, and with the fur-seein eye of one who sees in 
this new generation the future blessing and regenera 
tion of her people. 

And above all other lessons she taught them the 
Bible with the childlike faith of one who sits at the 
feet of the Christ. 


She studied it and taught it with the rapt vision 
and earnestness of a prophet who saw that the best 
future of her beloved New Land rested upon the 
victories of the bloodless armies of the cross. 

She had the faith that Paul had when he gave 
utterance to these incomparable words, and she saw 
through faith that her race should " subdue king 
doms, work righteousness, stop the mouth of lions, 
out of weakness be made strong." 

Her people needed her ; she wuz in no hurry to 
lay down her life-work. She wuz willin to stay in 
the vineyard and work as long as the Master willed. 

But she felt that when the starry nightfall come 
and the workers wuz dismissed, the rest would be 
sweet. And oh ! how wistfully she looked forward 
to that land that lay beyend the New Republic, 
where she should receive " her dead raised to life 
again." When on the threshold of the new life Vic 
tor would meet her and lead her forward to Him 
that wuz slain. Where she would dwell with him 
forever in that continuin city which by faith she 
saw while yet in the body. 



J HE relation on Maggie s side is dead. 
Some said of heart failure, others 
said of a broken heart caused by disap 
pointed ambition. 

Yes, somebody else got higher than 
he wuz, and he fit too hard. Goin round election- 
eerin , makin speeches by night, travellin by day, 
pullin wires here and pullin wires there, bam- 
boozlin this man, hirin that man, bribin the other 
man, and talkin , talkin , talkin to every one on em. 
Climbin hard every minute to get up the high mount 
of his ambition, slippin back agin anon, or oftener, 
and mad and bitter all the time to see his hated rival 
a gettin nearer the prize than he wuz. 

No wonder his heart failed. I should have thought 
it would. 

So little Raymond Fairfax Coleman wuz left a 
orphan. And in his father s will, made jest after 


that visit to my son Thomas Jefferson, he left direc 
tions that Raymond should live with his Cousin 
Maggie and her husband till he wuz old enough to 
be sent to college, and Thomas J. wuz to be his 
gardeen, with a big, handsome salary for takin care 
of him. 

There wuzn t nuthin* little and clost about the re 
lation on Maggie s side, and as near as I could make 
out from what I hearn he kep his promise to me. 
And I respected him for that and for some other 
things about him. And we all loved little Ray 
mond ; and though he mourned his Pa, that child 
had a happier home than he ever had, in my opinion. 

And I believe he will grow up a good, noble man 
mebby in answer to the prayers of sweet Kate Fair 
fax, his pretty young mother. 

She wuz a Christian, I have been told, in full 
communion with the Episcopal Church. And though 
the ministers in that meetin house wear longer 
clothes than ourn duz, and fur lighter colored ones, 
and though they chant considerable and get up and 
down more n I see any need of, specially when I am 
stiff with rheumatiz, still I believe they are a re 
ligious sect, and I respect em. 

Wall, little Raymond looked like a different creeter 
before he had been with us a month. We made him 
stay out-doors all we could ; he had a little garden 
of his own that he took care of, and Thomas J. got 
him a little pony. And he cantered out on t every 
pleasant day, sometimes with Boy in front of him 
he thinks his eyes of Boy. And before long his lit 
tle pale cheeks begun to fill out and grow rosy, and 
his dull eyes to have some light in em. 



He is used well, there hain t a doubt of that. 
And he and Babe are the greatest friends that ever 
wuz. They are jest the same age born the same 
day. Hain t it queer? And they are both very 
handsome and smart. They are a good deal alike 
anyway ; the same good dispositions, and their two 
little tastes seem to be congenial. 

And Josiah sez I look ahead ! But, good land ! I 
don t It hain t no such thing! The idee! when 
they are both of em under eight. 

But they like to be together, and I am willin they 
should ; they are both on em as good as gold. 

And on Babe s next birthday, which comes in 
September, I am goin to get, or ruther have my 
companion get her a little pony jest like Raymond s. 
I have got my plans laid deep to extort the money 
out of him. Good vittles is some of the plan, but 
more added to it. 

I shall get the pony, or ruther it will be got. And 
if them two blessed little creeters can take comfort 
a ridin round the presinks of Jonesville on their 
own two little ponys, they are goin to take it. 

Life is short, and if you don t begin early to take 
some comfort you won t take much. 

But to resoom. The relation on Maggie s side 
has passed away, but the relation on Josiah s side is 
still in this world, if it can be called bein in this 
world when your heart and spirit are a soarin up 
to the land that lays beyend. 

But 1 guess it would be called bein in this world, 
sence his labor is a bein spent here, and his hull 
time and strength all ready to be gin to them who 
are in need. 


He is doin* a blessed good work in Victor, for so 
their colony is named, after the noble hero who laid 
down his life for it. 

And the place is prosperin beyend any tellin . 
All that Genieve dreamed about it is a coinin true. 

And she is a helpin it on ; she spends her money 
like water for the best good of her people. 

She didn t raise no stun monument to Victor ; 
no, the monument she raised up to his memory 
wuz built up in the grateful hearts of his people. 

Upon them, his greatest care and thought when 
here, sJie spends all her life and her wealth. 

She felt that she would ruther and he would 
ruther she would carve in these livin lives the words 
Love and Duty than to dig out stun flowers on a 

And she felt that if she wuz enabled to cleanse 
these poor souls so the rays of a divine life could 
stream down into em, it wuz more comfort to her 
than all the colors that wuz ever made in stained 

She might have done what so many do and they 
have a right to do it, there hain t a mite of harm in 
it, and the law bears em out 

She might have had lofty memorial winders 
wrought out of stained glass, with gorgeous designs 
representin Moses leadin his brethren through the 
Red Sea, or our Saviour helpin sinners to better 

And white glass angels a bendin down over red 
glass mourners, and rays of glass light a brightenin 
and warmin glass children below em. 

There hain t a mite of harm in this ; and if it is a 



comfort to mourners, Genieve hadn t no objection, 
and I hain t. And the more beauty there is, natural 
or boughten, the better it is for this sad old world any 

But for her part, Genieve felt that she had ruther 
spend the wealth of her love and her help upon them 
that suffered for it. 

Upon little children, who, though mebby they 
didn t shine so much as the glass ones did, but who 


wuz human, and sorrowful, and needy. Little hearts 
that knew how to ache, and to aspire ; innocent, 
ignorant souls whose destiny lay to a great extent 
in the ones about em ; little blunderin* footsteps 
that she could help step heavenward. 

By the side of the plain but large and comfortable 
church in the colony there wuz a low white cross 
bearin Victor s name. 

But within the church, in the hundreds of souls 


who met there to worship God, his name and influ 
ence wuz carved in deeper lines than any that wuz 
ever carved in stun. 

It wuz engraved deep in the aspirin lives of them 
who come here to be taught, and then went out to 
teach the savage tribes about them. 

Many, many learned to live, helped by his mem 
ory and his influence ; many learned how to die, 
helped by his memory and his example. 

Good Father Gasperin, who went with the colony, 
has passed away. He preached the word in season 
and out of season. And his death wuz only like the 
steppin out of the vestibule of a church into the 
warm and lighted radiance of the interior. 

He knew whom he had believed. He had seen 
the good seed he had sown spring up an hundred 
fold, and ripenin to the harvest, that sown agin 
and agin might yield blessed sheaves to the Lord 
of the harvest. 

And when the summons come he wuz glad to lay 
down his prunin knife and his sickle and rest. 

The same sunset that gilds the mound under 
which he sleeps looks down upon a low cottage not 
very fur away. 

It stands under the droopin , graceful boughs of a 
group of palm-trees that rise about it, its low bamboo 
walls shinin out from the dark green screen of 

An open veranda runs round it half shaded with 
gorgeous creepin vines glowin and odorous, more 
beautiful than our colder climate ever saw. 

Inside it is simple but neat. The bare floors have 
a few rugs spread upon them, a few pictures are on 



the walls. A round table stands spread in a small 
dinin room, with a snowy cloth woven of the flax of 
old Georgia upon it. 

Round the table are grouped Felix, his wife and 
little Ned. In a cradle near by lies a baby boy born 
in the New Republic ; his name is Victor, and he is 
the pet of Genieve, whose cottage, much like this, 
stands not fur away. 

Through the open lattice Felix sits and looks out 
upon his fields. It is a small farm, but it yields him 
a bountiful support. 

He and Hester have all they want to eat, drink, 
and wear, and their children are bein educated, and 
they are free. 

The vision that Genieve saw in the sunset light at 
Belle Fanchon has not fully come yet, but it is com- 
in f , it is comin fast. Little Victor may see it. 

Genieve and Felix and Hester write to us often, 
and specially to Thomas Jefferson, who has been 
able to help the colony in many ways, and wuz glad 
to do it. 

For Thomas Jefferson, poor boy, though I say it 
that mebby shouldn t, grows better and better every 
day ; but then I hain t the only one that sez it. He 
found poured out into his achin heart the baptism 
of anguish that in such naters as hisen is changed 
into a fountain of love and helpfulness towards the 

His poor, big, achin heart longed to help other 
fathers and mothers from feelin the arrow that 
rankled in his own. 

His bright wit become sanctified into more divine 
uses. His fur-seein eyes tried to solve the prob- 


lems of sad lives, and found many a answer in peace 
and blessedness for others that reflected back into 
his own. 

More and more every day did the memory of lit 
tle Snow, so heart-breakin at first, become a bene 
diction to him, and a inspiration to a godlier livin . 
He could not entertain a wilful sin in the depths of 
the heart where he felt them pure, soul-searchin eyes 
wuz lookin now. 

He couldn t turn his back onto the Beloved City, 
where he felt that she wuz waitin for him. No, he 
would make himself worthy of bein* the father of an 
angel. He must make his life helpful to all who 
needed help. 

And to them that she felt so pitiful towards, most 
of all the dark lives full of sin and pain, he must help 
to light up and sweeten by all means in his power. 
And Maggie felt jest like him, only less intenser and 
more mejum, as her nater wuz. 

Thomas Jefferson and Maggie jined the Methodist 
meetin house on probation, the very summer after 
little Snow left them. 

And, what wuz fur better, they entered into such 
a sweet, helpful Christian life that they are blessin s 
and inspirations to everybody that looks on and sees 

To Raymond and Robbie they give the wisest and 
tenderest care. The poor all over Jonesville, and 
out as fur as Loontown and Shackville, bless their 

And at Belle Fanchon, where they always lay out 
to spend their winters, their comin is hailed as the 
comin of the spring sun is by the waitin earth. 


The errin* ones, them from whom the robes of 
Pharisees are drawed away, and at whom noses are 
upturned, these find in my boy Thomas Jefferson 
and his wife true helpers and friends. The} 7 find 
somebody that meets em on their own ground not 
a reachin down a finger to em from a steeple or a 
platform, but a standin on the ground with em, a 
reachin out their hands in brotherly and sisterly 
helpfulness, pity, and affection. 

Dear little Snow, do you see it ? As the tears of 
gratitude moisten your Pa s and Ma s hands, do you 
bend down and see it all ? Is it your sweet little 
voice that whispers to em to do thus and so? 
Blessed baby, I sometimes think it is. 

Mebby you turn away from all the ineffable glories 
that surround the pathway of the ransomed throng, 
to hover near the sad old earth you dwelt in once 
and the hearts that held you nearer than their own 
lives. Mebby it is so ; I can t help thinkin* it is 

I said that the relation on Josiah s side is still in 
the world, and I believe it, because we had a letter 
from him no longer ago than last night. I got it jest 
before sundown, and after Josiah handed it to me 
he went to the barn to onharness he had been to 

I sot out on the stoop under the clear, soft twilight 
sky of June, and the last red rays of the sinkin sun 
lay on the letter like a benediction. And under that 
golden and rosy light I read these words : 

" MY DEAR COUSIN : Here in this distant iand, 
where my last days will be spent, my human heart 
yearns over my far-off kindred. 



" And I send you this greeting and memorial to 
testify that the Lord has been gracious to me. He 
has permitted me to see the desire of my heart. He 
has blessed my failing vision with the blessed light 
of this Land of Promise 


14 I sit here as I write on the banks of a clear river 
that runs towards the South land. 

" My little cabin stands on its banks, and I sit liter 
ally under my own vine and fig-tree, and I can say of 
my home as the prophet of old said of a fair city : 
4 It is planted in a pleasant place/ 

"As my eyes grow dim to earthly things I catch 


more vividly the meaning of immortal things hid 
den from me in my more eager and impetuous 

" I am now willing to abide God s will. 

" I see, in looking back to those old days, that 1 
was impatient, trying to mould humanity according 
to my poor crude conception. 

" I am now willing to wait God s will. 

" I see it plainly working out the great prob 
lem which vexed me so sorely. 

" How slowly, how surely has this plan been un 
folding, even in those long days of slavery, when the 
eager and impetuous ones distrusted God s mercy 
and scouted at His wisdom. 

" But how else was it possible to have taken these 
ignorant ones from the jungles of Africa and made 
of them teachers and missionaries of Christianitv 


and civilization to their own people ? 

" How else could the story of Christ s life and 
Christ s sufferings and risen glory have been so 
clearly revealed to them as when they were pass 
ing through deep waters and coming up out of great 

" Out of the wrath of men He made his will 
known. While they suffered they learned the fel 
lowship of suffering as they could not by any tongue 
of missionary or teacher. 

While they were in bonds they learned some 
thing of the patience and long suffering of Him who 

" While the war was raging on each side of them 
and they passed unharmed out through the Red Sea, 
while the contending hosts fell about them on every 


side, they learned of the strength of the Lord, the 
sureness of His protecting 1 care. 

4 While they were encamped in the dark wilder 
ness between the house of bondage and the Prom 
ised Land, they learned to wait on the Lord. 

And in that long waiting they brightened up the 
sword of wisdom and the spirit so they couid van 
quish the hosts of ignorance surrounding the land 
from whence they were taken in their black igno 
rance, and to which they returned rejoicing, ready 
to^work for Him who had redeemed them. 

11 I look into the future and 1 seethe hosts of igno 
rance, and superstition, and Idolatry falling before 
the peaceful warfare of these soldiers of the cross. 

" I see the idols of superstition and bestial igno 
rance falling and the white cross lifted up and shed 
ding its pure, awakening light over the hordes oi 
savage men and savage women brought in, washed 
and made clean, to the marriage supper of the Lord. 

" As for myself, I truly care not how long I may 
wait my Master s call For whatever pathway I 
may tread, in this world or the other, 1 know that He 
that is risen will go before me ; so I fear not the way 
by land, however long, nor the swelling of Jordan. 

" And either in the body or out of the body, God 
knoweth best. I shall see the fulfilment of His 
promises, I shall see the working out of His plan as 
it draws nearer and nearer to its perfect fulfilment." 

I dropped the hands that held that letter into my 
lap, and sot there in silence. 

The sun had gone down, but the west wuz a 
glowin sea of pale golden light, and above it a large 


clear star shone like a soul lookin down into this 
world, a soul that had got above its troubles and 
perplexities, but yet one that took a near and dear 
interest in the old world yet. 

Fur off, away over the peaceful green fields, I 
could hear the cow-bells a tinklin and a soundin 
low and sweet, as the herds wended their way home 
through the starry dusk. 

Everything wuz quiet and serene. 

And as I sot there my heart sort o waked up, and 
memories heavenly sweet, heavenly sad, come to 
Ihrill my soul as they must always do while I stay 
here below, till my day of pilgrimage is over. 

But as I sot there with tears on my cheeks and a 
smile on my lips for I wuzn t onhappy, not at all, 
though the tears wuz in my eyes through thinkin 
of such a number of things all at once a light low 
breeze swept up gently from the south or down from 
the glowin heavens anyway it come and swept 
lovingly and kind o lingeringly, as if with some old 
lovin memory, over the posies in the door-yard, and 
sort o waved the sweet bells of the mornin glories, 
and fell on my forehead and cheek like a soft, con- 
solin little hand. 

It sort o stayed there and caressed me, and 
brushed my hair back, and then touched my cheek, 
and then wuz goi>-e.